Mother's Agenda

 

Vol. 1

 

Institut de Recherches Evolutives

142 blvd du Montparnasse

F-75014 Paris

INTRODUCTION

When we have passed beyond humanity, then we shall be the Man.

Sri Aurobindo

This AGENDA ... One day, another species among men will pore over this fabulous document as over the tumultuous drama that must have surrounded the birth of the first man among the hostile hordes of a great, delirious Paleozoic. A first man is the dangerous contradiction of a certain simian logic, a threat to the established order that so genteelly ran about amid the high, indefeasible ferns – and to begin with, it does not even know that it is a man. It wonders, indeed, what it is. Even to itself it is strange, distressing. It does not even know how to climb trees any longer in its usual way – and it is terribly disturbing for all those who still climb trees in the old, millennial way. Perhaps it is even a heresy. Unless it is some cerebral disorder? A first man in his little clearing had to have a great deal of courage. Even this little clearing was no longer so sure. A first man is a perpetual question. What am I, then, in the midst of all that? And where is my law? What is the law? And what if there were no more laws? ... It is terrifying. Mathematics – out of order. Astronomy and biology, too, are beginning to respond to mysterious influences. A tiny point huddled in the center of the world’s great clearing. But what is all this, what if I were ‘mad’? And then, claws all around, a lot of claws against this uncommon creature. A first man ... is very much alone. He is quite unbearable for the pre-human ‘reason.’ And the surrounding tribes growled like red monkies in the twilight of Guiana.

One day, we were like this first man in the great, stridulant night of the Oyapock. Our heart was beating with the rediscovery of a very ancient mystery – suddenly, it was absolutely new to be a man amidst the diorite cascades and the pretty red and black coral snakes slithering beneath the leaves. It was even more extraordinary to be a man than our old confirmed tribes, with their infallible equations and imprescriptible biologies, could ever have dreamed. It was an absolutely uncertain ‘quantum’ that delightfully eluded whatever one thought of it, including perhaps what even the scholars thought of it. It flowed otherwise, it felt otherwise. It lived in a kind of flawless continuity with the sap of the giant balata trees, the cry of the macaws and the scintillating water of a little fountain. It ‘understood’ in a very different way. To understand was to be in everything. Just a quiver, and one was in the skin of a little iguana in distress. The skin of the world was very vast. To be a man after rediscovering a million years was mysteriously like being something still other than man, a strange, unfinished possibility that could also be all kinds of other things. It was not in the dictionary, it was fluid and boundless – it had become a man through habit, but in truth, it was formidably virgin, as if all the old laws belonged to laggard barbarians. Then other moons began whirring through the skies to the cry of macaws at sunset, another rhythm was born that was strangely in tune with the rhythm of all, making one single flow of the world, and there we went, lightly, as if the body had never had any weight other than that of our human thought; and the stars were so near, even the giant airplanes roaring overhead seemed vain artifices beneath smiling galaxies. A man was the overwhelming Possible. He was even the great discoverer of the Possible. Never had this precarious invention had any other aim through millions of species than to discover that which surpassed his own species, perhaps the means to change his species – a light and lawless species. After rediscovering a million years in the great, rhythmic night, a man was still something to be invented. It was the invention of himself, where all was not yet said and done.

And then, and then ... a singular air, an incurable lightness, was beginning to fill his lungs. And what if we were a fable? And what are the means?

And what if this lightness itself were the means?

A great and solemn good riddance to all our barbarous solemnities.

Thus had we mused in the heart of our ancient forest while we were still hesitating between unlikely flakes of gold and a civilization that seemed to us quite toxic and obsolete, however mathematical. But other mathematics were flowing through our veins, an equation as yet unformed between this mammoth world and a little point replete with a light air and immense forebodings.

It was at this point that we met Mother, at this intersection of the anthropoid rediscovered and the ‘something’ that had set in motion this unfinished invention momentarily ensnared in a gilded machine. For nothing was finished, and nothing had been invented, really, that would instill peace and wideness in this heart of no species at all.

And what if man were not yet invented? What if he were not yet his own species?

A little white silhouette, twelve thousand miles away, solitary and frail amidst a spiritual horde which had once and for all decided that the meditating and miraculous yogi was the apogee of the species, was searching for the means, for the reality of this man who for a moment believes himself sovereign of the heavens or sovereign of a machine, but who is quite probably something completely different than his spiritual or material glories. Another, a lighter air was throbbing in that breast, unburdened of its heavens and of its prehistoric machines. Another Epic was beginning. Would Matter and Spirit meet, then, in a third PHYSIOLOGICAL position that would perhaps be at last the position of Man rediscovered, the something that had for so long fought and suffered in quest of becoming its own species? She was the great Possible at the beginning of man. Mother is our fable come true. ‘All is possible’ was her first open sesame.

Yes, She was in the midst of a spiritual ‘horde,’ for the pioneer of a new species must always fight against the best of the old: the best is the obstacle, the snare that traps us in its old golden mire. As for the worst, we know that it is the worst. But then we come to realize that the best is only the pretty muzzle of our worst, the same old beast defending itself, with all its claws out, with its sanctity or its electronic gadgets. Mother was there for something else.

‘Something else’ is ominous, perilous, disrupting – it is quite unbearable for all those who resemble the old beast. The story of the Pondicherry ‘Ashram’ is the story of an old clan ferociously clinging to its ‘spiritual’ privileges, as others clung to the muscles that had made them kings among the great apes. It is armed with all the piousness and all the reasonableness that had made logical man so ‘infallible’ among his less cerebral brothers. The spiritual brain is probably the worst obstacle to the new species, as were the muscles of the old orangutan for this fragile stranger who no longer climbed so well in the trees and sat, pensive, at the center of a little, uncertain clearing. There is nothing more pious than the old species. There is nothing more legal. Mother was searching for the path of the new species as much against all the virtues of the old as against all its vices or laws. For, in truth, ‘Something Else’ ... is something else.

We landed there, one day in February 1954, having emerged from our Guianese forest and a certain number of dead-end peripluses; we had knocked upon all the doors of the old world before reaching that point of absolute impossibility where it was truly necessary to embark into something else or once and for all put a bullet through the brain of this slightly superior ape. The first thing that struck us was this exotic Notre Dame with its burning incense sticks, its effigies and its prostrations in immaculate white: a Church. We nearly jumped into the first train out that very evening, bound straight for the Himalayas, or the devil. But we remained near Mother for nineteen years. What was it, then, that could have held us there? We had not left Guiana to become a little saint in white or to enter some new religion. ‘I did not come upon earth to found an ashram; that would have been a poor aim indeed,’ She wrote in 1934. What did all this mean, then, this ‘Ashram’ that was already registered as the owner of a great spiritual business, and this fragile, little silhouette at the center of all these zealous worshippers? In truth, there is no better way to smother someone than to worship him: he chokes beneath the weight of worship, which moreover gives the worshipper claim to ownership. ‘Why do you want to worship?’ She exclaimed. ‘You have but to become! It is the laziness to become that makes one worship.’ She wanted so much to make them become this ‘something else,’ but it was far easier to worship and quiescently remain what one was. She spoke to deaf ears. She was very alone in this ‘ashram.’ Little by little, the disciples fill up the place, then they say: it is ours. It is ‘the Ashram.’ We are ‘the disciples.’ In Pondicherry as in Rome as in Mecca. ‘I do not want a religion! An end to religions!’ She exclaimed. She struggled and fought in their midst – was She therefore to leave this Earth like one more saint or yogi, buried beneath haloes, the ‘continuatrice’ of a great spiritual lineage? She was seventy- six years old when we landed there, a knife in our belt and a ready curse on our lips.

She adored defiance and did not detest irreverence.

No, She was not the ‘Mother of the Pondicherry Ashram.’ Then who was She? ... We discovered Her step by step, as one discovers a forest, or rather as one fights with it, machete in hand – and then it melts, one loves, so sublime does it become. Mother grew beneath our skin like an adventure of life and death. For seven years we fought with Her. It was fascinating, detestable, powerful and sweet; we felt like screaming and biting, fleeing and always coming back: ‘Ah! You won’t catch me! If you think I came here to worship you, you’re wrong!’ And She laughed. She always laughed. We had our bellyful of adventure at last: if you go astray in the forest, you get delightfully lost yet still with the same old skin on your back, whereas here, there is nothing left to get lost in! It is no longer just a matter of getting lost – you have to CHANGE your skin. Or die. Yes, change species. Or become one more nauseating little worshipper – which was not on our program. ‘We are the enemy of our own conception of the Divine,’ She told us one day with her mischievous little smile. The whole time – or for seven years, in any event – we fought with our conception of God and the ‘spiritual life’: it was all so comfortable, for we had a supreme ‘symbol’ of it right there. She let us do as we pleased, She even opened up all kinds of little heavens in us, along with a few hells, since they go together. She even opened the door in us to a certain ‘liberation,’ which in the end was as soporific as eternity – but there was nowhere to get out: it WAS eternity. We were trapped on all sides. There was nothing left but these 4m2 of skin, the last refuge, that which we wanted to flee by way of above or below, by way of Guiana or the Himalayas. She was waiting for us just there, at the end of our spiritual or not so spiritual pirouettes. Matter was her concern. It took us seven years to understand that She was beginning there, ‘where the other yogas leave off,’ as Sri Aurobindo had already said twenty-five years earlier. It was necessary to have covered all the paths of the Spirit and all those of Matter, or in any case a large number geographically, before discovering, or even simply understanding, that ‘something else’ was really Something Else. It was not an improved Spirit nor even an improved Matter, but ... it could be called ‘nothing,’ so contrary was it to all we know. For the caterpillar, a butterfly is nothing, it is not even visible and has nothing in common with caterpillar heavens nor even caterpillar matter. So there we were, trapped in an impossible adventure. One does not return from there: one must cross the bridge to the other side. Then one day in that seventh year, while we still believed in liberations and the collected Upanishads, highlighted with a few glorious visions to relieve the commonplace (which remained appallingly commonplace), while we were still considering ‘the Mother of the Ashram’ rather like some spiritual super-director (endowed, albeit, with a disarming yet ever so provocative smile, as though She were making fun of us, then loving us in secret), She told us, ‘I have the feeling that ALL we have lived, ALL we have known, ALL we have done is a perfect illusion ... When I had the spiritual experience that material life is an illusion, personally I found that so marvelously beautiful and happy that it was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life, but now it is the entire spiritual structure as we have lived it that is becoming an illusion! – Not the same illusion, but an illusion far worse. And I am no baby: I have been here for forty-seven years now!’ Yes, She was eighty-three years old then. And that day, we ceased being ‘the enemy of our own conception of the Divine,’ for this entire Divine was shattered to pieces – and we met Mother, at last. This mystery we call Mother, for She never ceased being a mystery right to her ninety-fifth year, and to this day still, challenges us from the other side of a wall of invisibility and keeps us floundering fully in the mystery – with a smile. She always smiles. But the mystery is not solved.

Perhaps this AGENDA is really an endeavor to solve the mystery in the company of a certain number of fraternal iconoclasts.

Where, then, was ‘the Mother of the Ashram’ in all this? What is even ‘the Ashram,’ if not a spiritual museum of the resistances to Something Else. They were always – and still today – reciting their catechism beneath a little flag: they are the owners of the new truth. But the new truth is laughing in their faces and leaving them high and dry at the edge of their little stagnant pond. They are under the illusion that Mother and Sri Aurobindo, twenty-seven or four years after their respective departures, could keep on repeating themselves – but then they would not be Mother and Sri Aurobindo! They would be fossils. The truth is always on the move. It is with those who dare, who have courage, and above all the courage to shatter all the effigies, to de-mystify, and to go TRULY to the conquest of the new. The ‘new’ is painful, discouraging, it resembles nothing we know! We cannot hoist the flag of an unconquered country – but this is what is so marvelous: it does not yet exist. We must MAKE IT EXIST. The adventure has not been carved out: it is to be carved out. Truth is not entrapped and fossilized, ‘spiritualized’: it is to be discovered. We are in a nothing that we must force to become a something. We are in the adventure of the new species. A new species is obviously contradictory to the old species and to the little flags of the already-known. It has nothing in common with the spiritual summits of the old world, nor even with its abysms – which might be delightfully tempting for those who have had enough of the summits, but everything is the same, in black or white, it is fraternal above and below. SOMETHING ELSE is needed.

‘Are you conscious of your ceils?’ She asked us a short time after the little operation of spiritual demolition She had undergone. ‘No? Well, become conscious of your cells, and you will see that it gives TERRESTRIAL results.’ To become conscious of one’s cells? ... It was a far more radical operation than crossing the Maroni with a machete in hand, for after all, trees and lianas can be cut, but what cannot be so easily uncovered are the grandfather and the grandmother and the whole atavistic pack, not to mention the animal and plant and mineral layers that form a teeming humus over this single pure little cell beneath its millennial genetic program. The grandfathers and grandmothers grow back again like crabgrass, along with all the old habits of being hungry, afraid, falling ill, fearing the worst, hoping for the best, which is still the best of an old mortal habit. All this is not uprooted nor entrapped as easily as celestial ‘liberations,’ which leave the teeming humus in peace and the body to its usual decomposition. She had come to hew a path through all that. She was the Ancient One of evolution who had come to make a new cleft in the old, tedious habit of being a man. She did not like tedious repetitions, She was the adventuress par excellence – the adventuress of the earth. She was wrenching out for man the great Possible that was already beating there, in his primeval clearing, which he believed he had momentarily trapped with a few machines. She was uprooting a new Matter, free, free from the habit of inexorably being a man who repeats himself ad infinitum with a few improvements in the way of organ transplants or monetary exchanges. In fact, She was there to discover what would happen after materialism and after spiritualism, these prodigal twin brothers. Because Materialism is dying in the West for the same reason that Spiritualism is dying in the East: it is the hour of the new species. Man needs to awaken, not only from his demons but also from his gods. A new Matter, yes, like a new Spirit, yes, because we still know neither one nor the other. It is the hour when Science, like Spirituality, at the end of their roads, must discover what Matter TRULY is, for it is really there that a Spirit as yet unknown to us is to be found. It is a time


 when all the ‘isms’ of the old species are dying: ‘The age of Capitalism and business is drawing to its close. But the age of Communism too will pass ... ‘It is the hour of a pure little cell THAT WILL HAVE TERRESTRIAL REPERCUSSIONS, infinitely more radical than all our political and scientific or spiritualistic panaceas.

This fabulous discovery is the whole story of the AGENDA. What is the passage? How is the path to the new species hewed open? ... Then suddenly, there, on the other side of this old millennial habit – a habit, nothing more than a habit! – of being like a man endowed with time and space and disease: an entire geometry, perfectly implacable and ‘scientific’ and medical; on the other side ... none of that at all! An illusion, a fantastic medical and scientific and genetic illusion: death does not exist, time does not exist, disease does not exist, nor do ‘scar’ and ‘far’ – another way of being IN A BODY. For so many millions of years we have lived in a habit and put our own thoughts of the world and of Matter into equations. No more laws! Matter is FREE. It can create a little lizard, a chipmunk or a parrot – but it has created enough parrots. Now it is SOMETHING ELSE ... if we want it.

Mother is the story of the free Earth. Free from its spiritual and scientific parrots. Free from its little ashrams as well – for there is nothing more persistent than those particular parrots.

Day after day, for seventeen years, She sat with us to tell us of her impossible odyssey. Ah, how well we now understand why She needed such an ‘outlaw’ and an incorrigible heretic like us to comprehend a little bit of her impossible odyssey into ‘nothing.’ And how well we now understand her infinite patience with us, despite all our revolts, which ultimately were only the revolts of the old species against itself. The final revolt. ‘It is not a revolt against the British government which any one can easily do. It is, in fact, a revolt against the whole universal Nature!’ Sri Aurobindo had proclaimed fifty years earlier. She listened to our grievances, we went away and we returned. We wanted no more of it and we wanted still more. It was infernal and sublime, impossible and the sole possibility in this old, asphyxiating world. It was the only place one could go to in this barbed-wired, mechanized world, where Cincinnati is just as crowded and polluted as Hong Kong. The new species is the last free place in the general Prison. It is the last hope for the earth. How we listened to her little faltering voice that seemed to return from afar, afar, after having crossed spaces and seas of the mind to let its little drops of pure, crystalline words fall upon us, words that make you see. We listened to the future, we


touched the other thing. It was incomprehensible and yet filled with another comprehension. It eluded us on all sides, and yet it was dazzlingly obvious. The ‘other species’ was really radically other, and yet it was vibrating within, absolutely recognizable, as if it were THAT we had been seeking from age to age, THAT we had been invoking through all our illuminations, one after another, in Thebes as in Eleusis as everywhere we have toiled and grieved in the skin of a man. It was for THAT we were here, for that supreme Possible in the skin of a man at last. And then her voice grew more and more frail, her breath began gasping as though She had to traverse greater and greater distances to meet us. She was so alone to beat against the walls of the old prison. Many claws were out all around. Oh, we would so quickly have cut ourself free from all this fiasco to fly away with Her into the world’s future. She was so tiny, stooped over, as if crushed beneath the ‘spiritual’ burden that all the old surrounding species kept heaping upon her. They didn’t believe, no. For them, She was ninety-five years old + so many days. Can someone become a new species all alone? They even grumbled at Her: they had had enough of this unbearable Ray that was bringing their sordid affairs into the daylight. The Ashram was slowly closing over Her. The old world wanted to make a new, golden little Church, nice and quiet. No, no one wanted TO BECOME. To worship was so much easier. And then they bury you, solemnly, and the matter is settled – the case is closed: now, no one need bother any more except to print some photographic haloes for the pilgrims to this brisk little business. But they are mistaken. The real business will take place without them, the new species will fly up in their faces – it is already flying in the face of the earth, despite all its isms in black and white; it is exploding through all the pores of this battered old earth, which has had enough of shams – whether illusory little heavens or barbarous little machines. It is the hour of the REAL Earth. It is the hour of the REAL man. We are all going there – if only we could know the path a little ...

This AGENDA is not even a path: it is a light little vibration that seizes you at any turning – and then, there it is, you are IN IT. ‘Another world in the world,’ She said. One has to catch the light little vibration, one has to flow with it, in a nothing that is like the only something in the midst of this great debacle. At the beginning of things, when still nothing was FIXED, when there was not yet this habit of the pelican or the kangaroo or the chimpanzee or the XXth century biologist, there was a little pulsation that beat and beat – a delightful dizziness, a joy in the world’s great adventure; a


 little never-imprisoned spark that has kept on beating from species to species, but as if it were always eluding us, as if it were always over there, over there – as if it were something to become, something to be played forever as the one great game of the world; a who-knows-what that left this sprig of a pensive man in the middle of a clearing; a little ‘something’ that beats, beats, that keeps on breathing beneath every skin that has ever been put on it – like our deepest breath, our lightest air, our air of nothing – and it keeps on going, it keeps on going. We must catch the light little breath, the little pulsation of nothing. Then suddenly, on the threshold of our clearing of concrete, our head starts spinning incurably, our eyes blink into something else, and all is different, and all seems surcharged with meaning and with life, as though we had never lived until that very minute. Then we have caught the tail of the Great Possible, we are upon the wayless way, radically in the new, and we flow with the little lizard, the pelican, the big man, we flow everywhere in a world that has lost its old separating skin and its little baggage of habits. We begin seeing otherwise, feeling otherwise. We have opened the gate into an inconceivable clearing. Just a light little vibration that carries you away. Then we begin to understand how it CAN CHANGE, what the mechanism is – a light little mechanism and so miraculous that it looks like nothing. We begin feeling the wonder of a pure little cell, and that a sparkling of joy would be enough to turn the world inside out. We were living in a little thinking fishbowl, we were dying in an old, bottled habit. And then suddenly, all is different. The Earth is free! Who wants freedom?

It begins in a cell.

A pure little cell.

Mother is the joy of freedom.

Joyous Agenda!

 

SATPREM

Nandanam

Deer House

August 19, 1977


 

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Topographical Note

From the time of Sri Aurobindo’s departure (1950) until 1957, we have only a few notes and fragments or rare statements noted from memory. These are the only landmarks of this period, along with Mother’s Questions and Answers from her talks at the Ashram Playground. A few of these conversations have been reproduced here insofar as they mark stages of the Supramental Action.

From 1957, Mother received us twice a week in the office of Pavitra, the most senior of the French disciples, on the second floor of the main Ashram building, on some pretext of work or other. She listened to our queries, spoke to us at length of yoga, occultism, her past experiences in Algeria and in France or of her current experiences; and gradually, She opened the mind of the rebellious and materialistic Westerner that we were and made us understand the laws of the worlds, the play of forces, the working of past lives – especially this latter, which was an important factor in the difficulties with which we were struggling at that time and which periodically made us abscond. Mother would be seated in this rather medieval-looking chair with its high, carved back, her feet on a little tabouret, while we sat on the floor, on a slightly faded carpet, conquered and seduced, revolted and never satisfied – but nevertheless, very interested. Treasures, never noted down, were lost until, with the cunning of the Sioux, we succeeded in making Mother consent to the presence of a tape recorder. But even then, and for a long time thereafter, She carefully made us erase or delete in our notes all that concerned Her rather too personally – sometimes we disobeyed Her.


 

But finally we were able to convince Her of the value inherent in keeping a chronicle of the route.

It was only in 1958 that we began having the first tape-recorded conversations, which, properly speaking, constitute Mother’s Agenda. But even then, many of these conversations were lost or only partly noted down. Or else we considered that our own words should not figure in these notes and we carefully omitted all our questions – which was absurd. At that time, no one – neither Mother, nor ourself – knew that this was ‘the Agenda’ and that we were out to explore the ‘Great Passage.’ Only gradually did we become aware of the true nature of these meetings. Furthermore, we were constantly on the road, so much so that there are sizable gaps in the text. In fact, for seven years, Mother was patiently preparing the instrument that would be able to traverse the adventure without breaking along the way.

From 1960, the Agenda took its final shape arid grew for thirteen years, until May 1973, filling thirteen volumes in all (some six thousand pages), with a change of setting in March 1962 at the time of the Great Turning in Mother’s yoga when She permanently retired to her room upstairs, as had Sri Aurobindo in 1926. The interviews then took place high up in this large room carpeted in golden wool, like a ship’s stateroom, amidst the rustling of the Copper Pod tree and the cawing of crows. Mother would sit in a low rosewood chair, her face turned towards Sri Aurobindo’s tomb, as though She were wearing down the distance separating that world from our own. Her voice had become like that of a child, one could hear her laughter. She always laughed, this Mother. And then her long silences. Until the day the disciples closed her door on us. It was May 19, 1973. We did not want to believe it. She was alone, just as we were suddenly alone. Slowly, painfully, we had to discover the why of this rupture. We understood nothing of the jealousies of the old species, we did not yet realize that they were becoming the ‘owners’ of Mother – of the Ashram, of Auroville, of Sri Aurobindo, of everything – and that the new world was going to be denatured into a new Church. There and then, they made us understand why She had pulled us from our forest, one day, and chosen as her confidant an incurable rebel.


 


1951-1957

Notes and Fragments

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February 1951

(Note written by hand two months after Sri Aurobindo’s departure)

The lack of the earth’s receptivity and the behavior of Sri Aurobindo’s disciples’ are largely responsible for what happened to his body. But one thing is certain: the great misfortune that has just beset us in no way affects the truth of his teaching. All he said is perfectly true and remains so. Time and the course of events will make this abundantly clear.

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Undated 1951

(This note, originally written in English, was meant for the officials who had wanted to present Mother with the Nobel Peace Prize proposed for Sri Aurobindo in 1951)

I am only realizing what He has conceived. I am only the protagonist and the continuator of His work.

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1. In an ‘official’ version, Mother had omitted ‘and the behavior of Sri Aurobindo’s disciples.’


 

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March 14, 1952

Since the beginning of the earth wherever and whenever there was the possibility of manifesting a ray of consciousness, I was there.’

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August 2, 1952

Only when it is no longer necessary for my body to resemble the bodies of men in order to make them progress will it be free to be supramentalized.2

***

Only when men shall depend exclusively upon the Divine and upon nothing else will the incarnate god no longer need to die for them. 2

1. Original English. In another version, Mother wrote, ‘a ray of the Consciousness.’

2. Note written by Mother in French.


 

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Undated 195(?)

(Concerning a letter from the Government of India)

I had an intense experience.

I saw, felt, perceived that despite all appearances to the contrary, the world is on the way towards the true, towards the day when governmental powers will belong to those who have the true power, the power of Truth.’

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1. Note written by Mother in French.


 

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April 1954

(A few experiences of the body consciousness’)

With the same accuracy, one can say that all is divine or that nothing is divine. Everything depends upon the angle from which one looks at the problem.

Likewise, it can be said that the divine is a perpetual becoming and yet also, that it is immutable for all eternity.

To deny or affirm God’s existence is equally true, but each is only partially true. It is by rising above both affirmation and negation that one may draw nearer the truth.

It can further be said that whatever happens in the world is the result of divine will, but also that this will has to be expressed and manifested in a world that contradicts or deforms it; these are two attitudes having, respectively, the practical effect of either submitting with peace and joy to whatever happens or, on the contrary, ceaselessly fighting for the triumph of what should be. To live the truth one must know how to rise above both attitudes and combine them.

***

Keep your own conviction if it helps you to build your life; but know that it is only one conviction and that the others are as good and true as yours.

***

Tolerance is full of a sense of superiority; it should be replaced by total understanding.

***

Because truth is not linear, but global, and not successive, but simultaneous, it can therefore not be expressed in words: it must be lived.

***

1. The following texts were written by Mother in French.


 

To acquire a total and perfect awareness of the world as it is in all its details, one must first have no more personal reactions in regard to any of these details, nor even any spiritual preference as to what they ought to be. In other words, a total acceptance with a perfect neutrality and indifference is the indispensable condition for a knowledge through integral identification. If one detail, no matter how small, escapes this neutrality, this detail also escapes identification. The absence of personal reactions, whatever their end, even the most exalted, is thus a basic necessity for total knowledge.

So we could say, paradoxically, that we can only know a thing when we are not interested in it, or rather, more precisely, when we are not personally concerned with it.

***

Whenever a god has donned a body, it was always with the intention of transforming the earth and creating a new world. Yet until now, he always had to give up his body without being able to complete his work; and it has always been said that the earth was not ready, that mankind did not fulfill the conditions necessary for the work to be accomplished.

But it is the very imperfection of the incarnate god that makes the perfection of those about him indispensable. If the god incarnate realized the perfection needed for the progress to be made, this progress would not be conditioned by the state of the surrounding matter. However, interdependence is doubtlessly absolute in this world of utmost objectification, and a certain degree of perfection in the general manifestation is indispensable before a higher degree of perfection can be realized in the divine, incarnate being. It is the need for a certain perfection in the environment that drives human beings to progress; it is the insufficiency of this progress, whatever it may be, that impels the divine being to intensify his effort for progress in his own body. Thus both movements for progress are simultaneous and complementary.


 

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August 1954

(Further experiences of the body consciousness’)

When we look back upon our lives, we almost always feel that in some circumstance or other we could have done better, even though at each minute the action was dictated by the inner truth this is because the universe is in perpetual motion, and what was perfectly true at one time is only partly so today. Or, to express it more precisely, the action necessary at the time it was carried out is no longer so at the present time, and another action might more fruitfully take its place.

***

When we speak of transformation, the meaning of the word is still vague to us. It gives us the impression of something that is going to happen which will set everything right. The idea more or less boils down to this: if we have difficulties, the difficulties will vanish; those who are ill will be cured of their illness; if the body has infirmities or incapacities, the infirmities or incapacities will fade away, and so forth ... But as I have said, it is very vague, it is only an impression. Now, what is quite remarkable about the body consciousness is that it is unable to know a thing with precision and in all its details except when it is just about to be realized. Thus, when the process of transformation becomes clear, when we are able to know by what sequence of movements and changes the total transformation will take place, in what order, by which path, as it were, which things will come first, which will follow – when everything is known, in all its details, it will be a sure indication that the hour of realization is near, for each time you perceive a detail accurately, it means that you are ready to carry it out.

1. The following texts were written by Mother in French.


 

In the meantime, one can have an overall view. For example, it is quite certain that under the influence of the supramental light, the transformation of the body consciousness will take place first then will come a progress in the mastery and control of all the movements and workings of all the body’s organs; afterwards this mastery will gradually change into a kind of radical modification of the movement and then of the constitution of the organ itself. All this is certain, although rather vague to our perception. But what will finally take place – once the various organs are replaced by centers of concentration of forces, each with a different quality and nature and each acting according to its own special mode – is still a mere conception, and the body does not understand very well, for it is still very far from the realization, and the body can really understand only when it is on the point of being able to do.

***

The supramentalized body will be sexless since the need for animal procreation will no longer exist.

***

It is only in its outward form, in its most superficial appearance – as illusory for the latest discoveries of today’s science as for the experience of spirituality in former ages – that the body is not divine.

Supreme Reality, Supramental Truth, this body is all-vibrant with intense gratitude. You have given it, one by one, all the experiences that can lead it most infallibly towards You. It has reached a state where the identification with You is not only the sole thing desirable, but also the sole thing possible and natural.

How to describe these experiences that are at extreme opposite ends? At one end, I can say, ‘Lord, to be truly near, truly worthy of You, must one not drink the cup of humiliation to the dregs, yet not feel humiliated? The contempt of men renders one truly free and ready to belong to You alone.’

At the other end, I would say, ‘Lord, to be truly near, truly worthy of You, must one not be transported to the summits of human appreciation, yet not feel glorified? It is when men call one Divine that one feels best his own inadequacy and the need to be truly and totally identified with You.’

The two experiences are simultaneous, one does not negate the other; on the contrary, they seem to complement each other and become intenser thereby. In this intensity, the aspiration grows


 tremendously; and in response, Your presence becomes evident in the cells, giving the body the appearance of a multicolored kaleidoscope whose myriad luminous particles in constant motion are sovereignly reorganized by an invisible, all-powerful Hand.

@

August 25, 1954

(Mother reads to the disciples an excerpt from Sri Aurobindo’s THE MOTHER, in which he describes the different aspects of the Creative Power – what is India is called the ‘Shakti,’ or the ‘Mother’ – which have presided over universal evolution.)

‘ ... There are other great Personalities of the Divine Mother, but they were more difficult to bring down and have not stood out in front with so much prominence in the evolution of the earth-spirit. There are among them Presences indispensable for the supramental realization, – most of all one who is her Personality of that mysterious and powerful ecstasy and Ananda2 which flows from a supreme divine Love, the Ananda that alone can heal the gulf between the highest heights of the supramental spirit and the lowest abysses of Matter, the Ananda that holds the key of a wonderful divines” Life and even now supports from its secrecies the work of all the other Powers of the universe.’

Sri Aurobindo, The Mother

(A disciple:) Sweet Mother, what is this Personality and when will It manifest?

My answer is ready.

1. The following text is an extract from a ‘Wednesday Class,’ when every Wednesday Mother would answer questions raised by the disciples and children at the Ashram Playground.

2. Ananda: Divine Joy.


 

I knew you would ask me this question because it is indeed the most interesting thing in the whole passage – so my answer is ready, along with my answer to another question. But first let me read you this one. You asked, ‘What is this Personality and when will She come?’ Here is my answer (Mother reads):

‘She has come, bringing with Her a splendor of power and love, an intensity of divine joy heretofore unknown to the Earth. The physical atmosphere has been completely changed by her descent, permeated with new and marvelous possibilities.

But if She is ever to reside and act here, She has to find at least a minimal receptivity, at least one human being with the required vital and physical qualities, a kind of super-Parsifal gifted with an innate and integral purity, yet possessing at the same time a body strong enough and poised enough to bear unwaveringly the intensity of the Ananda She brings.

Thus far, She has not found what is needed. Men remain obstinately men and do not want to or are unable to become supermen. All they can receive and express is a love at their own dimension: a human love – whereas the supreme bliss of divine Ananda eludes their perception.

At times, finding the world unready to receive Her, She contemplates withdrawing. But how cruel a loss this would be!

It is true that at present, her presence is more rhetorical than factual, since so far She has had no chance to manifest. Yet even so, She is a powerful instrument in the Work, for of all the Mother’s aspects, She holds the greatest power to transform the body. Indeed, those cells which can vibrate at the touch of the divine Joy, receive it and bear it, are cells reborn, on their way to becoming immortal.

But the vibrations of divine Bliss and those of pleasure cannot cohabit in the same vital and physical house. We must therefore TOTALLY renounce all feelings of pleasure to be ready to receive the divine Ananda. But rare are those who can renounce pleasure without thereby renouncing all active participation in life or sinking into a stern asceticism. And among those who realize that the transformation is to be wrought in active life, some pretend that pleasure is a form of Ananda gone more or less astray and legitimize their search for self-satisfaction, thereby creating a virtually insuperable obstacle to their own transformation.’


 

Now, if there is anything else you wish to ask me ... Anyone may ask, anyone – anyone who has something to say – not just the students.

Mother, even if we have not previously succeeded, can’t we still try?

What? (the disciple repeats his question) Oh! You can always try!

The world is recreated from minute to minute. If you knew how – I mean if you could change your nature – you could recreate a new world this very minute!

I didn’t say She HAD gone. I said She was CONTEMPLATING it ... at times, now and then.

But Mother, if She came down, She must have seen a possibility!

She came down because there WAS a possibility – because things had reached such a stage that it was her hour to come down. But in truth, She came down because ... because I thought it was possible for her to succeed.

Possibilities are still there – only they have to materialize.

This is borne out by the fact that her descent took place at a given moment and for two or three weeks the atmosphere – not only of the Ashram but of the Earth – was so highly charged with such a power of such an intense divine Bliss creating so marvelous a force that things difficult to do before could be done almost instantly.

There were repercussions the world over. But I don’t believe that a single one of you noticed it ... you cannot even tell me when it happened, can you?

When did it happen?

I don’t know dates. I don’t know, I never remember dates. I can only tell you this ... that it happened before Sri Aurobindo left his body, that he was told about it beforehand and that he ... well, he acknowledged the fact.

But there was a formidable battle with the Inconscient, for when I saw that the level of receptivity was not what it should have been, I blamed the Inconscient ... and tried to wage the battle there.


 

I don’t say it was ineffectual, but between the result obtained and the result hoped for, there was a considerable difference. But as I said, you who are all so near, so steeped in this atmosphere ... who among you noticed anything? – You simply went on with your little lives as usual.

I think it was in 1946, Mother, because you told us so many things at that time.

Right.

(A child:) Sweet Mother, now that She has come, what should we do?

You don’t know?

(silence)

Try to change your consciousness.

(silence)

Now you may ask me the questions you wanted to ask ... That’s all?

Mother, there is not even one single man?

I don’t know.

Mother, you are wasting your time with all these Ashram people.

Oh! ... But you see, from an occult standpoint, it is a selection. From an external standpoint you could say that there are people in the world who are far superior to you (and I would not disagree!), but from an occult standpoint, it is a selection. There are ... It can be said that without a doubt the majority of young people here have come because it was promised them that they would be present at the Hour of Realization – but they just don’t remember it! (Mother laughs) I have already said several times that when you come down on earth, you fall on your head, which leaves you a little dazed! (laughter) It’s a pity, but after all, you don’t have to remain dazed all your lives, do you? You should go deep within yourselves and there find the immortal consciousness – then you can see very well, you can very clearly remember the circumstances in which you ... you aspired to be here for the Hour of the Work’s realization.

But actually, to tell you the truth, I think your lives are so easy that you don’t exert yourselves very much! How many among you have truly an INTENSE need to find their psychic beings? To find out truly who they are? To find out what their roles are, why they are here? ... You just let yourselves drift. You even complain when things aren’t easy enough! You just take things as they come. And sometimes, should an aspiration arise in you and you encounter some difficulty in yourself, you say, ‘Oh, Mother is there! She’ll take care of it for me!’ And you think about something else.

Mother, previously things were very strict in the Ashram, but not now. Why?

Yes, I have always said that it changed when we had to take the very little children. How can you envision an ascetic life with little sprouts no bigger than that? It’s impossible! But that’s the little surprise package the war left on our doorstep. When it was found that Pondicherry was the safest place on earth, naturally people came wheeling in here with all their baby carriages filled and asked us if we could shelter them, so we couldn’t very well turn them away, could we?! That’s how it happened, and in no other way ... But, in the beginning, the first condition for coming here was that you would have nothing more to do with your family! If a man was married, then he had to completely overlook the fact that he had a wife and children – completely sever all ties, have nothing further to do with them. And if ever a wife asked to come just because her husband happened to be here, we told her, ‘You have no business coming here!’

In the beginning, it was very, very strict – for a long time.

The first condition was: ‘Nothing more to do with your family ...’ Well, we are a long way from that! But I repeat that it only happened because of the war and not because we stopped seeing the need to cut all family ties; on the contrary, this is an indispensable condition because as long as you hang on to all these cords which bind you to ordinary life, which make you a slave to the ordinary life, how can you possibly belong to the Divine alone? What childishness! It is simply not possible. If you have ever taken the trouble to read over the early ashram rules,


 you would find that even friendships were considered dangerous and undesirable ... We made every effort to create an atmosphere in which only ONE thing counted: the Life Divine.

But as I said, bit by bit ... things changed. However, this had one advantage: we were too much outside of life. So there were a number of problems which had never arisen but which would have suddenly surged up the moment we wanted a complete manifestation. We took on all these problems a little prematurely, but it gave us the opportunity to solve them. In this way we learned many things and surmounted many difficulties, only it complicated things considerably. And in the present situation, given such a large number of elements who haven’t even the slightest idea why they’re here (! ) ... well, it demands a far greater effort on the disciples’ part than before.

Before, when there were ... we started with 35 or 36 people – but even when it got up to 150, even with 150 – it was as if ... they were all nestled in a cocoon in my consciousness: they were so near to me that I could constantly guide ALL their inner or outer movements. Day and night, at each moment, everything was totally under my control. And naturally, I think they made a great deal of progress at that time: it is a fact that I was CONSTANTLY doing the sadhana’ for them. But then, with this baby boom ... The sadhana can’t be done for little sprouts who are 3 or 4 or 5 years old! It’s out of the question. The only thing I can do is wrap them in the Consciousness and try to see that they grow up in the best of all possible conditions. However, the one advantage to all this is that instead of there being such a COMPLETE and PASSIVE dependence on the disciples’ part, each one has to make his own little effort. Truly, that’s excellent.

I don’t know to whom I was mentioning this today (I think it was for a Birthday2) ... No, I don’t know now. It was to someone who told me he was 18 years old. I said that between the ages of 18 and 20, I had attained a constant and conscious union with the Divine Presence and that I had done this ALL ALONE, without ANYONE’S help, not even books. When a little later I chanced upon Vivekananda’s Raja Yoga, it really seemed so wonderful to me that someone could explain something to me! And it helped me realize in only a few months what would have otherwise taken years.

1. Sadhana: yogic discipline or effort.

2 Mother received each disciple individually on his birthday.


 

I met a man (I was perhaps 20 or 21 at the time), an Indian who had come to Europe and who told me of the Gita. There was a French translation of it (a rather poor one, I must say) which he advised me to read, and then he gave me the key (HIS key, it was his key). He said, ‘Read the Gita ...’ (this translation of the Gita which really wasn’t worth much but it was the only one available at the time – in those days I wouldn’t have understood anything in other languages; and besides, the English translations were just as bad and ... well, Sri Aurobindo hadn’t done his yet!). He said, ‘Read the Gita knowing that Krishna is the symbol of the immanent God, the God within.’ That was all. ‘Read it with THAT knowledge – with the knowledge that Krishna represents the immanent God, the God within you.’ Well, within a month, the whole thing was done!

So some of you people have been here since the time you were toddlers – everything has been explained to you, the whole thing has been served to you on a silver platter (not only with words, but through psychic aid and in every possible way), you have been put on the path of this inner discovery ... and then you just go on drifting along: ‘When it comes, it will come.’ – If you even spare it that much thought!

So that’s how it is.

But I’m not at all discouraged, I just find it rather laughable. Only there are other far more serious things; for example, when you try to deceive yourselves – that is not so pretty. One should not mix up cats and kings. You should call a cat a cat and a king a king – and human instinct, human instinct – and not speak about things divine when they are utterly human, nor pretend to have supramental experiences when you are living in a blatantly ordinary consciousness.

If you look at yourselves straight in the face and you see what you are, then if by chance you should resolve to ... But what really astounds me is that you don’t even seem to feel an intense NEED to do this! ‘But how can we know?’ Because you DO know, you have been told over and over again, it has been drummed into your heads. You KNOW that you have a divine consciousness within you. And yet you can go on sleeping night after night, playing day after day, doing your lessons ad infinitum and still not be ... not have a BURNING desire and will to come into contact with yourselves! – With yourselves, yes, the you just there, inside (motion towards the center of the chest) ... Really, it’s beyond me!


 

As soon as I found out – and no one told me, I found out through an experience – as soon as I found out that there was a discovery to be made within myself, well, it became THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in the world. It took precedence over everything else!

And when, as I told you, I chanced upon a book or an individual that could give me just a little clue and tell me, ‘Here. If you do such and such, you will find your path’ – well I charged into it like a cyclone ... and nothing could have stopped me.

And how many years have you all been here, half-asleep? Naturally, you’re happy to think about it now and then – especially when I speak to you about it or sometimes when you read. But THAT – that fire, that will which plows through all barriers, that concentration which can triumph over EVERYTHING ...

Now who was it that asked me what you should do?

(The child:) Me!

Well, that’s what you have to do, my child. I have just told you.

(silence)

Mother, what was the other thing you wrote?

I thought someone might ask me, ‘Why doesn’t She’ stay for your sake? Since She came here because you called Her, then why doesn’t She stay for your sake?’

But no one asked me that.

Tell us, Mother – we really want to know, Sweet Mother!

For Her, this body is but one instrument among so many others in an eternity of ages to come, and for Her its only importance is that attributed to it by the Earth and mankind – the extent to which it can be used as a channel to further Her manifestation. If I find myself surrounded by people who are incapable of receiving Her, then for Her, I am quite useless.

1. The Mother of Ananda, or the Creative Power’s aspect of Joy.


 

It is very clear. So it is not I who can make Her stay. And I certainly cannot ask Her to stay for egotistical reasons. Moreover, all these Aspects, all these Personalities manifest constantly – but they never manifest for personal reason. Not one of them has ever thought of helping my body – besides, I don’t ask them to because that is not their purpose. But it is more than obvious that if the people around me were receptive, She could permanently manifest since they could receive Her – and this would help my body enormously because all these vibrations would run through it. But She never gets even a chance to manifest – not a single one. She only meets people ... who don’t even feel Her when She’s there! They don’t even notice Her, they’re not even aware of her presence. So how can She manifest in these conditions? I’m not going to ask Her, ‘Please come and change my body.’ We don’t have that kind of relationship! Furthermore, the body itself wouldn’t agree. It never thinks of itself, it never pays attention to itself, and besides, it is only through the work that it can be transformed.

Yes, certainly ... had there been any receptivity when She came down and had She been able to manifest with the power with which She came ... But I can tell you one thing: even before Her coming, when, with Sri Aurobindo, I had begun going down (for the Yoga) from the mental plane to the vital plane, when we brought our yoga down from the mental plane into the vital plane, in less than a month (I was forty years old at the time – I didn’t seem very old, I looked less than forty, but I was forty anyway), after no more than a month of this yoga, I looked exactly like an 18 year old! And someone who knew me and had stayed with me in Japan’ came here, and when he saw me, he could scarcely believe his eyes! He said, ‘But my god, is it you?’ I said, ‘Of course! ‘

Only when we went down from the vital plane into the physical plane, all this went away – because on the physical plane, the work is much harder and we had so much to do, so many things to change.

But if a force like Hers could manifest and be received here, it would have INESTIMABLE results! ...

Well, I am only telling you all this because I thought someone might ask me about it, but otherwise ... I don’t have that kind of relationship with Her. You see, if you consider this body, this poor body, it is very innocent: it in no way tries to draw attention to itself nor to attract forces nor to do anything at all except its work – as best it can. And that’s how it stands: its importance is proportionate to its usefulness ... and to the significance the world attributes to it – since its action is for the world.

1. W.W. Pearson, a friend of Rabindranath Tagore, who had come from Tagore’s Ashram in 1923; Mother had met him with Tagore in 1916 in Japan.


 

But in and of itself, it is only one body among countless others. That’s all.

(To the disciple handling the microphone:) It’s over now.

(Mother gets up to go, but while leaving, She says to the children around her:) If you had made just one little decision to try to feel your psychic being, my time would not have been wasted.

@

March 26, 1955

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, March 26, 1955

Mother, once more I come to ask you for Mahakali’s’ intervention. After a period when everything seemed much better, I again awake to impossible mornings when I live badly, very badly, far from you, incapable of calling you and, what’s more, of feeling your Presence or your help.

I don’t know what mud is stirring about in me, but everything is obscured, and I cannot dissociate myself from these vital waves.

Mother, without Mahakali’s grace, I shall never be able to get out of this mechanical round, to shatter these old formations, ever the same, which keep coming back. Mother, I beg of you, help. me to BREAK this shell in which I am suffocating. Deliver me from myself, deliver me in spite of myself. Alone, I am helpless; sometimes I cannot even call you! May your force come and burn all my impurities, shatter my resistances.

Signed: Bernard2

@

April 4, 1955

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, April 4, 1955

Mother, for more than a year now I have been near you and nothing, no really significant inner experience, no sign has come that allows me to feel I have progressed or merely to show me that I am on the right path. I cannot even say I am happy.

1. Mahakali: the eternal Mother in her warrior aspect, She who severs the heads of the demons.

2. Such was our old, meaningless name (except for its Germanic root: ‘hard bear’) until a certain March 3, 1957, when Mother named us Sat-prem (‘the one who loves truly’).


 

I am not so absurdly pretentious as to blame the divine, nor yourself – and I remain quite convinced that all this is my own fault. Undoubtedly I have not known how to surrender totally in some part of myself, or I do not aspire enough or know how to ‘open’ myself as needed. Also, I should rely entirely upon the divine to take care of my progress and not be concerned about the absence of experiences. I have therefore asked myself why I am so far away from the true attitude, the genuine opening, and I see two main reasons: on the one hand, the difficulties inherent in my own nature, and on the other, the outer conditions of this sadhana. These conditions do not seem to be conducive to helping me overcome the difficulties in my own nature.

I feel that I am turning in circles and taking one step backward for each one forward. Furthermore, instead of helping me draw nearer to the divine consciousness, my work in the Ashram (the very fact of working – for to change work, even if I felt like it, would not change the overall situation), diverts me from this divine consciousness, or at least keeps me in a superficial consciousness from which I am unable to ‘unglue’ myself as long as I am busy writing letters, doing translations, corrections or classes.! I know it’s my own fault, that I ‘should’ know how to be detached from my work and do it by relying upon a deeper consciousness, but what can be done? Unless I receive the grace, I cannot ‘remember’ the essential thing as long as the outer part of my being is active.

When I am not immediately engrossed in work, I have to confront a thousand little temptations and daily difficulties that come from my contact with other beings and a life that does indeed remain in life. Here, even more, there is the feeling of an impossible struggle, and all these ‘little’ difficulties seem to gnaw away at me; scarcely has one hole been filled when another opens up, or the same one reappears, and there is never any real victory – one has constantly to begin everything again. Finally, it seems to me that I really live only one hour a day, during the evening ‘distribution’ at the playground.2 It is scarcely a life and scarcely a sadhana!

1. For a long time, Satprem took care of the correspondence with the outside, along with Pavitra not to mention editing the Ashram Bulletin as well as Mother’s writings and talks translating Sri Aurobindo’s works Unto French, and conducting classes at the Ashram’s ‘International Centre of Education.’

2. Every evening at the Playground, the disciples passed before Mother one by one to receive symbolically some food.


 

Consequently, I understand much better now why in the traditional yogas one ‘settled’ all these difficulties once and for all by escaping from the world, without bothering to transform a life that seems so untransformable.

I am not now going to renounce Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga, Mother, for my whole life is based upon it, but I believe I should employ other means – which is why I am writing you this letter.

By continuing this daily little ant-like struggle and by having to confront the same desires, the same ‘distractions’ every day, it seems to me I am wasting my energy in vain. Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga, which is meant to include life, is so difficult that one should come to it only after having already established the solid base of a concrete divine realization. That is why I want to ask you if I should not ‘withdraw’ for a certain time, to Almora,’ for example, to Brewster’s place,2 to live in solitude, silence, meditation, far away from people, work and temptations, until a beginning of Light and Realization is concretized in me. Once this solid base is acquired, it would be easier for me to resume my work and the struggle here for the true transformation of the outer being. But to want to transform this outer being without having fully illumined the inner being seems to me to be putting the cart before the horse, or at least condemning myself to a pitiless and endless battle in which the best of my forces are fruitlessly consumed.

In all sincerity, I must say that when I was at Brewster’s place in Almora, I felt very near to that state in which the Light must surge forth. I quite understand the imperfection of this process, which involves fleeing from difficulties, but this would only be a stage, a strategic ‘retreat,’ as it were.

Mother, this is not a vital desire seeking to divert me from the sadhana, for my life has no other meaning than to seek the divine, but it seems to be the only solution that could bring about some progress and get me out of this lukewarm slump in which I have been living day after day. I cannot be satisfied living merely one hour a day, when I see you.

I know that you do not like to write, Mother, but couldn’t you say in a few words if you approve of my project or what I should do? In spite of all my rebellions and discouragements and resistances, I am your child. O Mother, help me!

Signed: Bernard

1. In the Himalayas.

2. An American artist, an old friend of D.H. Lawrence, and Satprem’s friend.


 

(Mother’s reply)

My dear child,

No doubt it would be better to go to Almora for a while – not for too long, I hope, for it is needless to say how much the work will be disrupted by this departure ...

(Another handwritten version)

4.7.55

My dear child,

You may go to Almora if you think it will help you break this shell of the outer consciousness, so obstinately impenetrable.

Perhaps being far away from the Ashram for a while will help you feel the special atmosphere that exists here and that cannot be found anywhere else to the same extent.

In any event, my blessings will always be with you to help you find, at long last, this inner Presence which alone gives joy and stability.

Signed: Mother

@

June 9, 1955

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, June 9, 1955

Mother, I cannot say that it is a nostalgia for the outside world that is drawing me backwards nor some attachment to a ‘personal’ form of life, nor even some vital desire seeking its own satisfaction. That old world no longer attracts me, and I do not see at all what I would do there. Yet something is standing in my way.


 

If only I could see a distinct ‘error’ blocking my path which I could clearly attack ... But I feel that I am not responsible, that it is not my personal fault if I remain without aspiration, stagnating. I feel like a battlefield of contending forces that are beyond me and against which I can do NOTHING. Oh Mother, it is not an excuse for a lack of will, or at least I don’t think so – I profoundly feel like a helpless toy, totally helpless.

If the divine force, if your grace, does not intervene to shatter this obscure resistance that is drawing me downwards in spite of myself, I don’t know what will become of me ... Mother, I am not blackmailing you, I am only expressing my helplessness, my anguish.

During the day, I live more or less calmly in my little morass, but as evening and the moment to meet you draw near, then the forces pinning me to the ground begin raging beneath your pressure, and I feel at times an unbearable tearing that burns and constricts in my throat like tears that cannot be shed. Afterwards, Truth regains possession of me – but the following day it all begins again.

Mother, it is an impossible, absurd, unlivable life. I feel as though I have no hand in this cruel little game. Oh Mother, why doesn’t your grace trust that deep part in me which knows so well that you are the Truth? Deliver me from these evil forces since, profoundly, it is you and you alone I want. Give me the aspiration and strength I do not have. If you do not do this Yoga for me, I feel I shall never have the strength to go on.

There is something that must be SHATTERED: can it not be done once and for all without lingering on indefinitely? Mother, I am your child.

Signed: Bernard

Mother, this letter is a prayer.

(Mother’s reply)

@

June 11, 1955

My dear child,

Your case is not unique; there are others (and among the best and the most faithful) who are likewise a veritable battlefield for the forces opposing the advent of the truth. They feel powerless in this battle, sorrowful witnesses, victims without the strength to


fight, for this is taking place in that part of the physical consciousness where the supramental forces are not yet fully active, although I am confident they soon will be. Meanwhile, the only remedy is to endure, to go through this suffering and to await patiently the hour of liberation.

While reading your prayer, I too prayed that it be heard.

With my blessings.

Signed: Mother

@

September 3, 1955

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, September 3, 1955

Mother, it seems that for weeks I have been knocking against myself at every turn, as though I were in a prison, and I cannot get out of it. Mother, I need your Space, your Light, to get out of this walled-in night that is suffocating me.

No matter where I concentrate, in my heart, above my head, between my eyes, I bang everywhere into an unyielding wall; I no longer know which way to turn, what I must do, say, pray in order to be freed from all this at last. Mother, I know that I am not making all the effort I should, but help me to make this effort, I implore your grace. I need so much to find at last this solid rock upon which to lean, this space of light where finally I may seek refuge. Mother, open the psychic being in me, open me to your sole Light which I need so much. Without your grace, I can only turn in circles, hopelessly. O Mother, may I live in you.

Your child,

Signed: Bernard

@


 

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September 15, 1955

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, September 15, 1955

Mother ... suddenly everything seems to have crystallized – all the little revolts, the little tensions, the ill will and petty vital demands – forming a single block of open, determined resistance. I have become conscious that from the beginning of my sadhana, the mind has led the game – with the psychic behind – and has ‘held me in leash,’ helped muzzle all contrary movements, but at no time, or only rarely, has the vital submitted or opened to the higher influence. The rare times when the vital participated, I felt a great progress. But now, I find myself in front of this solid mass that says ‘No’ and is not at all convinced of what the mind has been imposing upon it for almost two years now.

Mother, I am sufficiently awakened not to rebel against your Light and to understand that the vital is but one part of my being, but I have come to the conclusion that the only way of ‘convincing’ this vital is not to force or stifle it, but to let it go through its own experience so it may understand by itself that it cannot be satisfied in this way. I feel the need to leave the Ashram for a while to see how I can get along away from here – and to realize, no doubt, that one can really breathe only here.

I have friends in Bangalore whom I would like to join for two or three weeks, perhaps more, perhaps less, however long it may take to confront this vital with its own freedom. I need a vital activity, to move, to sail, for example, to have friends ... etc. The need I am feeling is exactly that which I sought to satisfy in the past through my long boat journeys along the coast of Brittany. It is a kind of thirst for space and movement.

Otherwise, Mother, there is this block before me that is obscuring all the rest and taking away my taste for everything. I would like to leave, Mother, but not in revolt; may it be an experience to go through that receives your approval. I would not like to be cut off from you by your displeasure or your condemnation, for this would seem to me terrible and leave me no other recourse but to plunge into the worst excesses in order to forget.

Mother, I would like you to forgive me, to understand me and,


above all, not to deprive me of your Love. I would like you to tell me if I may leave for a few weeks and how you feel about it. It seems to me that I am profoundly your child, in spite of all this??

Signed: Bernard

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October 19, 1955

The three images of total self-giving to the Divine:

1) To prostrate oneself at His feet in a surrender of all pride, with a perfect HUMILITY.

2) To unfold one’s being before Him, to open entirely one’s body from head to toe, as one opens a book, spreading open one’s centers so as to make all their movements visible in a total SINCERITY that allows nothing to remain hidden.

3) To nestle in His arms, to melt in Him in a tender and absolute CONFIDENCE.

These movements may be accompanied by three formulas, or any one of them, depending upon the case:

1) May Your Will be done and not mine.

2) As You will, as You will ...

3) I am Yours for eternity.

Generally, when these movements are made in the right way, they are followed by a perfect identification, a dissolution of the ego, bringing about a sublime felicity.

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1. Note written by Mother in French.


 

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October (?) 1955

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry

Mother, after seeing you, I received a letter from my Bangalore friends. They have just bought an old Mogul residence and gardens in Hyderabad that used to belong to the Nizam ... They suggest that their new property would be an enchanting setting for writing the book I have felt like writing for years but never wrote because I was always on the move. Anyway, they have made it clear that should I have qualms about staying with them too long, it would be easy for them to find me some lucrative work that would not be too time consuming – which would allow me to write or do whatever I wish – with their friend the Maharajah of Jaipur, or even in Hyderabad.

All this tends to kindle something in me and ignites many temptations that correspond to very diverse, and not very satisfied, elements within me.

To complete the picture – for I don’t know what inspiration compels me to expose all this to you in such detail – I must tell you that these friends are opium users and that opium has played an important role in my life and continues to exert a strong attraction over me, the attraction of oblivion.

So that’s the situation. All this is in conflict within me and all the more so since it is happening now, in my present state of mind that you know so well.

It seems unlikely that I would know how to resist ... and yet nothing in me is sure, since I am impelled to write you in the hope of who knows what miracle that might show me my way and convince my whole being.

Mother, I would like at the same time to be your child and to leave!! All this is tearing me apart. Where is the solution to such an impossibility?

I am scarcely worthy of being your child.

But that’s how it is.

Signed: Bernard

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October 1955

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Bangalore

Sweet Mother, during the three days since I left the Ashram, I have never ceased feeling your Presence deep within me like the one thing essential, the only thing solid in the midst of all these hazy appearances. As I entered more and more into this outer world, I seemed to be entering a world without depth, without consistency, where all sorts of things and beings were fluttering like a very thin veil in the wind; and as I entered into this wavering world, you seemed to grow within me with an irrefutable self-evidence, like the only real thing, my only reason to be in this world – without you, everything withers away and loses its Meaning.

Mother, never before have I felt with such force how much you are part of me, nor how much I belong to you, irreversibly. And this I felt not only in my mind or even in my heart, but physically. Moreover, during the several weeks when I went through this latest ‘crisis’ in the Ashram, it seemed to me, sweet Mother, that a physical link was being built between you and me. Am I wrong? At times, I had the feeling that you were no longer merely ‘Mother’ in Spirit, but rather my Mother, as if you had really brought me into the world physically and there was nothing foreign anymore in our relationship. My words are awkward, but you will know how to see the Truth behind them, even if this Truth is still obscure to me.

I believed I had committed a spiritual ‘error’ by leaving the Ashram. But now it seems to me that this experience was necessary, for it put me glaringly in the presence of my life’s Meaning and its profound Reality. In a way, I needed to ‘objectify’ my presence in the Ashram, to see it from the outside. Not that I believe these to be good or even bad reasons to mentally justify this flight, but I see no other reason for this departure. And I find myself here without any need to satisfy the least desire, as if all these worldly ‘pleasures’ no longer awaken anything at all in me. Your grace is there, surely. The only


 experience I have had is smoking opium. Before, I found it very refined and calming, but this time I found only stomach cramps and a joyless vapidity. It is strange, but I feel that nothing has a hold on me any longer and the only people who seem to be really living are those in the Ashram. The others, on the contrary, are only pretending and are all completely outside of life, however paradoxical that might appear.

Sweet Mother, my experience is over. Will you allow me to return to the Ashram towards the middle of next week? There is no more struggle or conflict in me, it is my entire being, right down to the physical, that needs you, that wants to return and aspires to serve you – joyfully, peacefully. And not only do I aspire to serve you, but also to fight against these dark, ignorant and deceptive forces so as to be worthy of your Light, the true Light of my being. I see no other meaning for my life, for all life.

Mother, I know now what the word ‘consecration’ means. I want to consecrate myself wholly to your work, with my heart, my mind, my body and my soul. I belong to you irrevocably, unreservedly. I know that nothing else exists in the world that is worthy of being lived, except you. This crisis has helped me to see into myself clearly, and I believe I have gained something from it. Or am I deluding myself?

Finally, I would like to tell you how grateful I am, for I seem to feel your hand everywhere, your infinite understanding leading me towards your Light, through all the meanderings of my nature, making use of it and transforming it, uplifting it little by little in each of its elements and in the minutes” details. Thank you, Mother, for letting me find you – and forgive this terrible child who has been rebelling against the force of transformation, no doubt so as better to find you again.

I feel myself so much your child in every fiber of my being. Yes, your child.

Signed: Bernard


 

(Mother’s reply)

October 21, 1955

My dear little one, yes, you may return immediately. I will be happy to see you again.

You are right, the experience was necessary and it was fruitful.

Your good letter ... just what I was expecting from you, for what you write is true; I too feel you so very close to me, bound by an indestructible link, as if I had formed you, not only spiritually, but materially as well.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

With all my tenderness,

Signed: Mother

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January (?) 1956

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry

Mother, I invoke the Presence of Mahakali to break all my RESISTANCES, my INERTIA, my discouragement. Rather painful shocks than this tepidness! Or else, why am I here?

O Mother, may the PRESENCE of Mahakali be with me, may She force my whole being towards the Truth, the Light. Burn me, Mother, if I do not know how to love you!

Signed: Bernard

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Undated 1956

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry

All artistic creation is born of a question, a conflict, a discord with oneself, mankind or the cosmos. What painter, what poet, what writer has not wrenched from this conflict the best of his art, from Michelangelo to Goya, from Van Gogh to Rodin, from Villon to Rimbaud, Baudelaire or Dostoevski? And the work of art – the painting, novel or poem – is a harmony torn from this disharmony, a conquest over some chaos, a response to a question posed by man – a metamorphosis.

Artistic creation relies upon that which is most unique in man, most singular with respect to others, and it is through this singular uniqueness that the artist achieves his metamorphosis, his re-creation of the world; it is through this that he seeks to commune with others, himself and the world.

Now, Yoga seeks to eliminate conflict, problems or questions. Man has to forget all this, to cease being a question.


 

So when an answer has been given to every question, what place remains for the work of art? When all is metamorphosized through Transcendence, what place remains for artistic metamorphosis? When all is supreme harmony, can this harmony be expressed otherwise than through silence, a smile, a radiance or ‘inspired’ poetry – of which Sri Aurobindo is the sole example; even so, his poetry is not drawn from the human level, it surpasses the human, it issues from elsewhere.

Must artistic creation cease being human, then; must it cease relying upon the human? – which would then mean having to reject so many undeniably great painters, poets or writers? Must one wait to be open to the supramental planes of consciousness before being able to reconcile (assuming such reconciliation is possible) yoga and artistic creation? And, until then, smother all that sustains the creative elan, i.e. the individual, the conflict, that part of oneself which every creator feels to be the purest human part? Must one extinguish in oneself this play of light and shadow from which art derives its highest accents?

Signed: Bernard

January (?) 1956

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry

Mother, I need to unburden myself of all that is wringing my heart, and if the Divine exists somewhere, it is to him that I would like to express my profound disgust. For all this is profoundly scandalous, absurd and revolting. I know that the external world is absurd and that men live in it vainly; but the world of the Ashram is no less absurd, no less vain. ‘Someone’ is making fun of us, ‘someone’ is deceiving us – for if truly there is some witness to this tragi-comedy and if this whole world is his ‘game,’ it is a cruel game and he is a cheater, for he has all the cards in his hand and he pretends to make us play a game in which we are


inevitably the losers – a game we cannot play, for we are helpless miserable, without strength, without light.

All our efforts are vain and sadly ridiculous. At each instant we must begin everything anew, one step seems to lead us forward another to draw us back. We desperately turn in circles and sometimes, in our dizziness, we believe we glimpse lights, but these are only the little, dancing lights of our own fatigue, our own weakness. There is no victory, there are only moments of respite. Meditation brings calm and peace, of course, but so does sleep. We are all seeking release, in love, in opium, in action, in war or in power – or in Yoga; but one means is just as vain as the other. There is no real solution, there are only more or less effective ways of forgetting for an hour, or a day, that we are men alone and helpless.

It is quite possible, even quite probable, that in another hour or another day, I may feel quite the contrary of what I now write. But the person I am tomorrow does not negate he who I am today, it only makes him more absurd, more unbearably absurd. The one who I am right now, for an hour perhaps, needs to cry out his disgust with this nameless farce. We are puppets, fools, and I am ready to admit that everything is just a state of consciousness – but it is still a fool’s state of consciousness. Tomorrow’s puppet who might ask for grace from the divine, and believe in him, will still be a puppet, a pacified and resigned puppet – but a marionette no less absurd playing a game no less absurd. I understand those who go about planting dynamite everywhere; if they seek death, it is because they desperately wanted to live but found it impossible to live. One cannot live, one can only flee this intolerable existence in one way or another. Mother, it is impossible for a man to look at himself straight in the face in a completely lucid way for more than five minutes – IF HE DID, HE WOULD KILL HIMSELF ... SO I wonder if the divine – if he exists – has ever known the suffering of mankind. If he exists, why doesn’t he give men the strength to break out of this ‘Magic Circle’ in which they keep turning like prisoners in a cell. Twelve years ago, when I was twenty, I was turning in circles in a prison cell in Bordeaux,’ awaiting some execution or other – but I am still this same prisoner. If I have advanced during these twelve years, it is in despair, in misery. All this is outrageous, scandalous, should the divine exist.

1. Satprem was arrested by the Gestapo in Bordeaux in 1943 for resisting the German occupation. He was later sent to Buchenwald and Mauthausen.


 

Leave the Ashram? – But the rest of the world is just as absurd. It is man who is absurd, and god – if he exists – is a pure disgrace. Mother, I am SCANDALIZED, and I feel within me the rebellion and despair of all men who surely have not deserved all this.

Signed: Bernard

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Undated 1956

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry

Sweet Mother, with all the sincerity of which I am capable, I am putting before you an important problem (important to me) so that you may help me resolve it. I feel that I am coming to a decisive turning point, but something is preventing me from going any further.

All my past is weighing down on me, not because of any attachments, for I regret NOTHING of my past and my only hope is what lies before me. Yet I have not entirely undergone all this like a marionette, it even seems to me that ‘I’ have created it, composed it like a book – for the last fifteen years, from the time of the concentration camps, I have consciously multiplied my experiences and have passed through a whole range of rebellions and situations in order to gather the basic material for a book. As it happens, this formulation of ‘my’ book gradually merged with the search for my real Self. Now I know what I was seeking, but this book has grown with me, it is there like a powerful formation weighing down on me, and it weighs on me all the more now, for since my contact with Sri Aurobindo all my past experiences seem charged with meaning and symbolism. I find your hand in it everywhere, and I can now connect all the apparent coincidences and sift out an extraordinary necessity that has led me here; all this makes a dense, living, vibrant book that weighs on me. I need to cast it all out, to free myself, to write this book.

Not only do I need to liquidate this past, but also to renew my choice, to strengthen my presence here – and I feel this book as a


commitment, it will help me set my route in a decisive way. It is a test.

There is another consideration as well – though if I am deluding myself, please enlighten me. I feel that if this book is successful, it could be useful to others and serve Sri Aurobindo’s work. For I have had the opportunity to live concretely, the hard way, many of the questions that others ask themselves. Thus all my past experiences appear to be a living demonstration of a teaching to which Sri Aurobindo is the key. What has already been said abstractly or philosophically, I can say in the form of a living and moving novel. I think that I feel in me the power to express these things.

Sweet Mother, perhaps I am deceiving myself, but I am writing you explicitly so that you may enlighten me. I am not telling you all these things for you to approve of my need to write, but for you to tell me what is your will. I do not want to be ‘a writer,’ but your child, your instrument. Only, there is something in me that has to be liquidated.

The problem poses itself practically, for I would need a rather long period of uninterrupted work to be rid of all this. Yet I have carried this book in me for so long that it is ready in every detail – I could finish it in six months. Here, I am too occupied with other things to finish it quickly. Furthermore, I feel the need to redefine my presence here from an outside perspective. I thought of going to Brewster’s lodge in the Himalayas. There, I could continue some of the work I have been doing with Pavitra. It seems to me that I would come back freed and refortified in my purpose for being here.

Sweet Mother, am I deluding myself? What is your will? It is your will that I want, not my desire, and I am sure you will give me the strength to follow your directives, whatever they be. Enlighten me.

I am your child, gratefully.

Signed: Bernard

P.S. Can this book serve You?


 

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Undated 1956

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry

Sweet Mother, here is what has been happening in me almost every evening: I am literally like a bundle of compressed force that somehow can neither explode nor settle down and dissolve. The heaviness in my chest is such that I breathe with difficulty, as though all the blood in my body were converging there, oppressing me. In my head, the pressure at times is so intense that I dare not even close my eyes or concentrate further, for I feel it could crack. My entire being is so tense and filled with force that it seems it could break physically.

Is this perhaps a dangerous state? Or else is it normal? I would like to know whether this feeling that it could physically crack is a good sign or a bad one. If it is a bad sign, what can be done?

There is certainly some resistance in me, something that fundamentally says ‘No,’ and I am mentally trying to remain calm, unrebellious, but deep down it resists. I am not at all in search of ‘powers,’ but is this negative condition enough to avert accidents? Could you enlighten me? What can I do against this deep-rooted resistance?

Your child,

Signed: Bernard

P.S. I sleep more and more poorly.


 

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February 29, 1956

FIRST SUPRAMENTAL MANIFESTATION

(During the common meditationon Wednesday the 29th February 1956)

This evening the Divine Presence, concrete and material, was there present amongst you. I had a form of living gold, bigger than the universe, and I was facing a huge and massive golden door which separated the world from the Divine.

As I looked at the door, I knew and willed, in a single movement of consciousness, that THE TIME HAS COME’, and lifting with both hands a mighty golden hammer I struck one blow, one single blow2 on the door and the door was shattered to pieces.

Then the supramental Light and Force and Consciousness rushed down upon earth in an uninterrupted flow.

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March 19, 1956

AGENDA OF THE SUPRAMENTAL ACTION ON EARTH

On March 19 during the translation class the inner voice said:

‘Hold yourself straight’ and the body sat up and held itself absolutely straight during the entire class.

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1. The following text was given by Mother in both French and English.

2. Later added by Mother

3. Note written by Mother in French At this period, Mother’s back was already bent. This straightening of her back seems to be the first physiological effect of the ‘Supramental Manifestation’ of February 29, which is perhaps the reason why Mother noted down the experience under the name ‘Agenda of the Supramental Action on Earth.’ It was the first time Mother gave a title to what would become this fabulous document of 13 volumes. The experience took place during a ‘translation class’ when, twice a week, Mother would translate the works of Sri Aurobindo into French before a group of disciples.


 

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March 20, 1956

(Upon awakening)

The control over the movements of the vertebrae, lost a long time ago (which resulted in a kind of insensitivity and incapacity to move them at will) has returned to a great extent: the consciousness is once again able to express itself and the back can straighten up very visibly.

***

(The same day on the balcony2)

Almost a total straightening, along with a very clear perception of the new force and power in the cells of the body.

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March 21, 1956

The age of Capitalism and business is drawing to a close.

But the age of Communism, too, will pass. For Communism as it is preached is not constructive, it is a weapon to combat plutocracy. But when the battle is over and the armies are disbanded for want of employment, then Communism, having no more utility, will be transformed into something else that will express a higher truth.

We know this truth, and we are working for it so that it may reign upon earth.

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1. Note written by Mother in French.

2. Mother appeared on her balcony daily at about 6 a.m. to give a few moments of meditation to her disciples before the beginning of the day’s work.


 

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Undated 1956

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry

Sweet Mother, for many long months I have been struggling with myself in a painful conflict, and at times I have even felt certain dangers. Finally, I went within myself, into the calm, and it seemed to me that I would do well to go away for a while.

I had thought I could free myself from this conflict by writing a book. But in fact, it is not the mind that needs to be freed, or at least not only that, it is the vital that needs to WEAR ITSELF OUT.

I believe I have a clear mental perception of the goal to be attained, and I no longer doubt the spiritual meaning of my life, but this kind of mental maturity is coming into conflict with a vital that is too ‘young’ and has not yet worn itself out enough on the open road. Here, this vital force has become even more concentrated and is unable to free itself. It is undoubtedly a question of time, of aging. Thus all my energy, especially during the past year, has been spent ‘negatively,’ as it were – in an effort not to leave. This struggle seems to have eliminated all positive effort, even the very meaning of my presence here.

This vital force is no longer seeking a sexual fulfillment nor success in a world it no longer believes in, but it needs to ‘move,’ to come out. Perhaps things would be better if I went to breathe a bit in the Himalayas? I don’t want to do anything without your accord, and were I to leave, it would be after the 15th of August.

Sweet Mother, I am writing you all this calmly, without rebellion; but during these past months, the acuteness of the conflict has become so great that at times I feel myself in danger. I am putting all this before you so that you may tell me what is right.

Sweet Mother, I want to remain your child in spite of these difficulties. Forgive me for taking up your time and for being so poorly surrendered.

Signed: Bernard


 

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April 4, 1956

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, April 4, 1956

Mother, two months ago I had a clear mental perception of what was asked of me: to spend the rest of my life here. This is the source of my difficulties and of the inner hell I have been living through ever since. Each time I try to emerge, there is this image that rises up in me: your-whole-life – and this casts me into a violent conflict. When I came here, I thought of staying for two or three years; for me the Ashram was a means of realization, not an end.

I understand now that as long as my whole being has not ACCEPTED that it must finish its life here, there is no way out nor any ‘recovery’ possible. Through my mental force alone, this acceptance is impossible; I have been turning infernally in circles these past two months, and the mind is in league with the vital. Therefore, a force greater than mine must help me accept that my way is here. I need you, Mother, for without you I am lost. I need you to tell me that the Truth of my being is indeed here and that I am truly ready to follow this path. Mother, I beseech you, help me to see the truth of my being, give me some sign that my way is here and not elsewhere. I beg of you, Mother, help me to know.

I also had a very clear sensation that you were abandoning me, that you had no further interest in me and I could just as well do as I pleased. Perhaps you cannot forgive some of my inner rebellions which have been so very violent? Am I totally guilty? Is it true that you are abandoning me?

I am broken and battered in the depths of my being as I was in my flesh in the concentration camps. Will the divine grace take pity on me? Can you, do you want to help me? Alone I can do nothing. I am in an absolute solitude, even beyond all rebellion, at my very end.

Yet I love you in spite of all that I am.

Signed: Bernard


 

(Mother’s reply)

4.4.56

My child, I have not abandoned you, and I am ready to forget, to efface all revolt.

My help is always with you.

Signed: Mother

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April 20, 1956

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, April 20, 1956

Sweet Mother,

The difficulties of the past weeks have taught me that as soon as one strays from the true consciousness, in however trifling a way, anything may happen, any excess, any aberration, any imbalance – and I have felt very dangerous things prowling about me. Mother, you told me in regard to Patrick[1] that the law of the manifestation was a law of freedom, even the freedom to choose wrongly. This evening, it has been my very deep perception that this freedom is virtually always a freedom to choose wrongly. I harbor a great fear of losing the true consciousness once again. I have become aware of how fragile everything in me is and that very little would be enough to carry me away.

Therefore, Sweet Mother, I come to ask a great grace of you, from the depths of my heart: take my freedom into your hands. Prevent me from falling back, far away from you. I place this freedom in your hands. Keep me safe, Mother, protect me. Grant me the grace of watching over me and of taking me in your hands completely, like a child whose steps are unsure. I no longer want this Freedom. It is you I want, the Truth of my being. Mother, as a grace, I implore you to free me from my freedom to choose wrongly.


 

I am your child and I love you.

Signed: Bernard

(Mother’s reply)

4.2 1.56

My dear child,

Agreed – with all my heart I accept the gift you give me of your freedom to choose wrongly ... And it is with all my heart, too, that I shall always help you make the choice that leads straight to the goal – that is, towards your real self.

With all my affection and my blessings.

Signed: Mother

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April 23, 1956

Mother takes a passage from Prayers and Meditations of September 23, 1914:

The Lord hast willed, and Thou cost execute; A new Light shall break upon the earth. A new world shall be born. And the things that were promised shall be fulfilled.

and rewrites it as follows in her own hand:

29 February – 29 March Lord, Thou hast willed, and I execute: A new light breaks upon the earth A new world is born. The things that were promised are fulfilled.’

1. Original English.


 

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April 24, 1956

*

The manifestation of the Supramental upon earth is no more a promise but a living fact, a reality.

It is at work here, and one day will come when the most blind, the most unconscious, even the most unwilling shall be obliged to recognize it.

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Undated 1956

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry

Sweet Mother, I feel intensely, almost painfully, how much all my relationships with the outer world are FALSE, obscure, ignorant. As soon as I am away from the heart of my being, all my actions are approximations, all my contacts with other beings are turbid, my work itself becomes tainted with a thousand doubtful little motives. Mother, I know with a blinding certitude – even if this certitude is only mental – that the only solution is to come into contact with my true being. I know that by finding my true being I shall find the right action, the right relationships with the outside, and truth, knowledge, joy. I know this now in a profound way, and nothing can ever turn me away from it again. Every evening, this Truth comes physically to embrace me. And yet every morning, I have half-forgotten, and I spend nearly the whole day on the surface of my being.

O Mother, when shall my truth of the evening become my truth of the day?

Something HAS to explode in me and take possession of my entire being. It is not my force that can achieve this, but yours. Mother, I beseech you to open in me the doors of my true being. I no longer want this false relationship with the outside, this life of approximation. I want to be your instrument, not the instrument of this ignorant and suffering ego. Mother, I ask only for the true, the Light, that which is my real self. I have had enough, enough of this surface self that invades virtually all my days.

1. Original English.


 

May your Will be done.

Your child who desperately needs you,

Signed: Bernard

P.S. What is the obstacle?

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Undated 1956

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry

Sweet Mother, I feel it is good to tell you what happened within me yesterday evening during the distribution, if only to express my infinite gratitude.

First of all, I began by feeling, perceiving in an absolutely obvious way, that it is you and you alone who has been doing my yoga, that you have been doing everything for me and that you have been there forever, guiding each one of my steps. I felt luminously that without you I would never have been able to go forward a single step and that, basically, all my efforts have served only to teach me the futility of my efforts, as it were, and to lead me to this point of helplessness where I must totally surrender myself into the hands of a greater Force – into your hands. And I felt so absolutely that you would do EVERYTHING for me if only I relied upon you totally. It was like a liberation, like a weight that you lifted from my heart. No longer was it a question of trying to cling inwardly, of pushing and pulling until I was stiff and aching within; it was enough to let you act.

Then I felt a dual movement enter into me, almost a physical movement that followed the rhythm of my breathing, as though


 every time I breathed in, I was receiving something, and every time I breathed out, I was offering myself. And this dual movement of receiving and offering seemed to grow within me, as though it were the very movement of the world, the breathing of the world that receives and gives itself. And I perceived that, at a certain moment, this rhythm could stop, the circle close again, the two breaths join in a luminous immobility. Then vaguely, I discerned – as though from far away, behind a veil – a kind of pure, brilliant white light, and saw that it was you at the heart of the world. And then I felt how marvelous it was to be able to give myself. I seemed to have grasped the secret of duality, for the joy of offering, for the joy of love. Then I felt that I was beginning to mentalize things. In a way, I was afraid of recording too well what was happening, and I held myself out to you in silence and in love, for it seemed to me that the experience could be an obstacle, a stopping place, whereas one must always go farther. Then it seemed that you were there – I did not see you exactly, but I felt, I felt that you were smiling at me as from behind a veil. The distribution ended all too soon, and then I had a class. But even this morning, a kind of joyous confidence in my heart remains with me, and the need to express my infinite gratitude, my love. I belong to you, Mother, with my body, my life, my mind.

I want only what you want.

Everything is grace.

Your child,

Signed: Bernard

P.S. When things of this sort happen, should one bother you by writing about them, or simply be content with an inner gratitude?

(Mother’s reply)

It does not bother me at all, and you did well to write. Your experience is excellent, and I was very happy to read it – it shines like a light upon a new horizon.

With you, always.

Signed: Mother


 

@

May 2, 1956

(Extract from the Wednesday class)

Sweet Mother, you said, ‘The Supramental has come down on earth.’ What does this mean, exactly? You also said, ‘The things that were promised are fulfilled.’ What are these things?

Oh, really! How ignorant! It has been promised for such a very long time, it has been said for such a very long time – not only here in the Ashram, but ever since the beginning of the earth. There have been all kinds of predictions, by all kinds of prophets. It has been said, ‘There will be a new heaven and a new earth, a new race shall be born, the world shall be transformed ...’ Prophets have spoken of this in every tradition.

You said, ‘They are fulfilled.’

Yes. Then?

Where is the new race?

The new race? Wait for something like ... a few thousand years or so, and you will see it!

When the mind came down upon earth, something like a million years went by between the manifestation of the mind in the earth atmosphere and the appearance of the first man. But it will go faster this time because man is waiting for something, he has a vague idea: he is awaiting in some way or another the advent of the superman. Whereas the apes were certainly not awaiting the birth of man, they never thought of it – for the excellent reason that they probably don’t think very much! But man has thought about it and is waiting, so it will go faster. But faster probably still means thousands of years. We shall speak of this again in a few thousand years!

(silence)

Those who are ready within, who are open and in touch with the higher forces, those who have had a more or less direct


personal contact with the Supramental Light and Consciousness, are capable of feeling the difference in the earth atmosphere.

But for this ... only like can know like. Only the Supramental Consciousness in an individual can perceive the Supramental acting in the earth atmosphere. Those who, for whatever reason, have developed this perception can see it. But those who are not even remotely conscious of their inner beings, who would be quite at a loss to say what their souls look like, are certainly not ready to perceive the difference in the earth atmosphere. They still have quite a way to go for that. Because, for those whose consciousness is more or less exclusively centered in the outer being – mental, vital and physical – things need to have an absurd or unexpected appearance to be noticeable. And then they call it a miracle.

But we do not call a miracle the constant miracle of the forces that intervene to change circumstances and human natures and which have very far-reaching consequences, for we see only the appearance, and this appearance seems quite natural. But in truth, if you were to reflect upon the least thing that happens, you would be forced to acknowledge that it is miraculous.

It is simply because you do not reflect upon it and assume things to be as they are, what they are, unquestioningly; otherwise you would have quite a number of opportunities everyday to say to yourself, ‘But look! That is absolutely amazing! How did it happen?’

Quite simply, the habit of a purely superficial way of seeing.

Sweet Mother, what should be our attitude towards this New Consciousness?

That depends upon what you want to do with it.

If you want to look at it as an object of curiosity, then you have only to look at it, to try to understand.

If you want it to change you, you must open yourself and strive to progress.

Will we benefit collectively or individually from this new manifestation?

Why are you asking this question?

Because a lot of people have come here, and they are asking, ‘How are we going to benefit from it?’


 

Oh!

And why should they benefit from it? What entitles them to benefit from it? Simply because they took the train to come here?

I knew some people who came here a long time ago, something like (Oh, I don’t recall anymore, but quite a long time ago!), certainly more than twenty years ago; the first time someone died in the Ashram, they expressed a considerable dissatisfaction: ‘But I came here because I thought this yoga would make me immortal! If you can still die, then why did I come here?’

Well, it’s the same thing. People take the train to come here – there were about a hundred and fifty more people than usual’ – simply because they want to ‘benefit.’ But this may be exactly why they have not benefited from it! Because This [the supramental consciousness] has not come to make people benefit in any way whatsoever!

They ask if their inner difficulties will be easier to overcome.

I would repeat the same thing. What reason and what right have they to ask that things be easier? What have they done on their side? Why should it be easier? To satisfy people’s laziness and sloth – or what?

Because when something new comes, we always have the idea of benefiting from it.

No! Not only in the case of something new: in every case, there is always this idea of benefiting. However, that is the best way to get nothing.

Who are you trying to fool? The Divine? ... That is hardly possible.

It’s the same with those who ask for an interview. I tell them, ‘Look, you have come in large numbers, and if each one asks me for an interview, how could I possibly find enough minutes in so few days to see everyone? While you’re here, I wouldn’t have even a single minute.’ Then they retort, ‘Oh, I have taken so MUCH trouble, I have come from so FAR away, I have come from way in the North, I have travelled for so many hours – and I have no right to an interview?’ I reply, ‘I’m sorry, but you are not the only one in that situation.’

1. Mother is referring to the darshan of April 24, 1956. Four times a year, for ‘darshan,’ visitors increasingly poured into the Ashram to pass one by one before Mother (and formerly, Sri Aurobindo) to receive her look.


 

And that’s how it is – swapping, bargaining. We are not a commercial enterprise, we have made it clear that we are not doing business.

The number of disciples is increasing now day by day. What does this indicate?

But inevitably – it will increase more and more! Which is why I cannot do what I used to do when there were one hundred and fifty people in the Ashram. If they had just a little bit of common sense, they would understand that I cannot have the same relationship with people now (just imagine, 1,800 people these last days!), so I cannot have the same relationship with 1,845 people (exactly, I believe) as with thirty or even a hundred. That seems an easy enough logic to understand.

But they want everything to remain as it was and, as you say, to be the first to ‘benefit.’

Mother, when the mind came down into the earth atmosphere, the ape did not make any effort to convert himself into a man, did he? It was Nature that supplied the effort. But in our case ...

But it’s not man who is going to convert himself into a superman!

No?

Just try a little! (laughter) You see, it is something else that is going to do the work.

So we are ...

Only – yes, there is an ‘only,’ I don’t want to be so cruel: NOW MAN CAN COLLABORATE. That is, he can lend himself to the process, with good will, with aspiration, and help to his utmost. Which is why I said it will go faster. I hope it will go MUCH faster. But even if it does go much faster, it will still take some time!

(silence)


 

Look. If all of you who have heard of this, not once but perhaps hundreds of times, who have spoken of it yourselves, thought about it, hoped for it, wanted it (there are some people who have come here only for this, to receive the Supramental Force and to be transformed into supermen, this has been their goal ... ) then how is it that you were ALL such strangers to this Force that when it came, you did not even feel it?!

Can you solve that problem for me? If you find the solution to this problem, you will have the solution to the difficulty.

I am not speaking of people from outside who have never thought about it, who have never felt concerned and who do not even know that there may be something like the Supermind to receive, in fact. I am speaking of people who have built their lives upon this aspiration (and I don’t doubt their sincerity for a minute), who have worked – some of them for thirty years, some for thirty-five, others somewhat less – all the while saying, ‘When the supermind comes ... When the supermind comes ...’ That was their refrain: ‘When the supermind comes ...’ Consequently, they were really in the best possible frame of mind, one could not have dreamt of a better predisposition. How is it, then, that their inner preparation was so ... let’s just say ‘incomplete,’ that they did not feel the Vibration immediately, as soon as it came, through a shock of identity?

Individually, each one’s goal was to make himself ready, to enter into a more or less intimate individual relationship with this Force, so as to help the process; or else, if he could not help, at least be ready to recognize and be open to the Force when it would manifest. Then instead of being an alien element in a world in which your OWN inner capacity remains unmanifest, you suddenly become THAT, you enter directly, fully, into the very atmosphere: the Force is there, all around you, permeating you.

If you had had a little inner contact, you would have recognized it immediately, don’t you think so?

Well, in any event, that was the case for those who had a little inner contact; they recognized it, they felt it, and they said, ‘Ah, there it is! It has come!’ But how is it that so many hundreds of people – not to mention the handful of those who really wanted only that, thought only of that, had staked their whole lives on that – how is it that they felt nothing? What can this mean?

It is well known that only like knows like. It is an obvious fact.

There was indeed a possibility to enter into contact with the


Thing individually – this was even what Sri Aurobindo had described as being the necessary procedure: a certain number of people would enter into contact with this Force through their inner effort and their aspiration. We had called it the ascent towards the Supermind. And IF and when they had touched the Supermind through an inner ascent (that is, by freeing themselves from the material consciousness), they should have recognized it SPONTANEOUSLY as soon as it came. But a preliminary contact was indispensable – if you have never touched it, how can you recognize it?

That’s how the universal movement works (I read this to you a few days ago): through their inner effort and inner progress, certain individuals, who are the pioneers, the forerunners, enter into communication with the new Force which is to manifest, and they receive it in themselves. And because a number of calls like this surge forth, the thing becomes possible, and the era, the time, the moment for the manifestation comes. This is how it happened – and the Manifestation took place.

But then, all those who were ready should have recognized it.

I hasten to tell you that some did recognize it, but they were so few ... But as for those who ask these questions, who even took the trouble to come here, who took the train to gulp this down as you gulp down a soft drink, how can they possibly feel anything whatsoever if they have not prepared themselves at all? Yet they are already speaking of profiting: ‘We want to benefit from it ... ‘

After all, if they have even a tiny bit of sincerity (not too much, it’s tiring!), a tiny bit of sincerity, it is quite possible (I am joking), it is quite possible that they might get a few good kicks to make them go faster! It is possible. In fact, I think that’s what will happen.

But really, this attitude ... this rather overly commercial attitude, is usually not very profitable. If you have difficulties and you sincerely aspire, it is likely that the difficulties will diminish. Let us hope so.

(Turning to the disciple) So you may tell them this: be sincere and you will be helped.

Mother, very recently a text has been circulating which says,

‘What has just now happened, with this Victory, is not a descent but a manifestation. And it is no longer merely an individual event: the Supermind has sprung forth into the universal play.’


 

Yes, yes, yes! I indeed said all that. I acknowledge it. And so?

It is said, ‘The supramental principle is at work ... ‘

But I have just explained the whole thing to you! (Mother laughs) It’s incredible!

What I call a ‘descent’ is this: first of all, the consciousness climbs in ascent, then you catch the Thing up above and redescend with it. This is an INDIVIDUAL event.

When this individual event has taken place sufficiently to allow a more general possibility to emerge, it is no longer a ‘descent’ but a ‘manifestation.’

What I call a ‘descent’ is the individual movement in an individual consciousness. But when a new world is manifesting in an old world – as when similarly the mind spread over the earth – I call it a manifestation.

You may call it whatever you like, it makes no difference to me, but we must understand each other.

What I call a ‘descent’ takes place in the individual consciousness. In the same way, we speak of ‘ascent’ (there is no ascent really, there is no high or low, no direction: it’s all a manner of speaking) – we speak of ‘ascent’ when we feel ourselves rising up towards something, and we call it a ‘descent’ when, after having caught this thing, we bring it down into ourselves.

But when the doors are opened and the flood pours in, it can no longer be called a ‘descent’: it is a Force that spreads everywhere. Understood? ... Ah!

I don’t care what words you use. I do not essentially insist upon my words, but I explain them to you, and it’s better to agree on words beforehand, for otherwise there’s no end to explanations.

But now, you may reply to those people who are asking these insidious questions that the best way to receive anything whatsoever is not to pull, but to give. If they want to give themselves to the new life, well, the new life will enter into them.

But if they want to pull the new life into themselves, they will close the door with their egoism. That’s all.

@


 

@

July 29, 1956

O Thou who art always there – present in all I do, all I am – not for repose do I aspire, but for THY INTEGRAL VICTORY.

@

August 10, 1956

My Lord, through me thou hast challenged the world and all the adverse forces have risen in protest.3

But Thy Grace is winning the victory.

@

September 12, 1956

(During the Wednesday class)

... A supramental entity had entirely possessed me.

Something a little taller than myself: its feet extended below my feet and its head went a little beyond my head.

... A solid block with a rectangular base – a rectangle with a square base – one single piece.

1. Note written by Mother in French.

2. Note written by Mother in English.

3. In fact, following the ‘Supramental Manifestation’ of February 29, 1956, all of Mother’s physical difficulties increased, as though all the obscurities in the physical consciousness were surging forth beneath the pressure of the new light. The same observation applies to the disciples who were around Mother and undoubtedly to the world as a whole. A strange “mysterious acceleration’ was beginning to take hold of the world.

4. This text was noted down by a disciple from memory. On the original manuscript submitted for her approval, Mother wrote, ‘This account is quite correct,’ and She signed the text. Words added or corrected by Mother are in italics.


 

... A light, not like the golden light of the Supermind: rather a kind of phosphorescence. I felt that had it been night, it would have been physically visible.

... And it was denser than my physical body: the physical body seemed to me almost unreal – as though crumbly – like sand running through your fingers.

... I would have been incapable of speaking, words seemed so petty, narrow, ignorant.

... I saw (how shall I put it?) the successive preparations which took place, in certain anterior beings, in order to achieve this.

... It felt as if I had several heads.

... The experience of February 29 was of a general nature; but this one was intended for me.

... An experience I had never had.

... I begin to see what the supramental body will be.

... I had had a somewhat similar experience at the time of the union of the supreme creative principle with the physical consciousness. But that was a subtle experience, while this was material – in the body.

... I did not have the experience, I did not look at it: I WAS it.

... And it radiated from me: myriads of little sparks that were penetrating everybody – I saw them enter into each one of those present.

... One more step.

@

September 14, 1956

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Hyderabad, September 14, 1956

Sweet Mother,

Scarcely has a moment gone by since I left that I have not thought of you, but I wanted to wait for things to be clear and settled in me before writing, for you obviously have other things to do than listen to platonic declarations.

My friends keep telling me that I am not ready and that, like R,’ whom they knew, I should go and spend some time in society.

I. A former disciple who left the Ashram, and subsequently committed suicide.


 

They say that my idea of going to the Himalayas is absurd, and they advise me to return to Brazil for a few years to stay with W ... W is an elderly American millionaire – the only ‘good’ rich man I know – who wanted to make me an heir, as it were, to his financial affairs and who treats me rather like a son. He was quite disappointed when I came back to India. My friends tell me that if I have to go through a period in the outside world, the best way to do it is to remain near someone who is fond of me, while at the same time ensuring a material independence for the future.

These questions of money do not interest me. In fact, nothing interests me except this something I feel within me. The only question for me is to know whether I am truly ready for the Yoga, or if my failings are not the sign of some immaturity. Mother, you alone can tell me what is right.

I feel a bit lost, cut off from you. The idea of going to the Himalayas is absurd and I am abandoning it. My friends tell me that I may remain with them as long as I wish, but this is hardly a solution; I don’t even feel like writing a book any longer – nothing seems to appeal to me except the trees in this garden and the music that fills a large part of my days. There is no solution other than the Ashram or Brazil. You alone can tell me what to do.

I KNOW that ultimately my place is near you, but is that my place at present, after all these failings? Spontaneously, it is you I want, you alone who represent the light and all that is real in this world; I can love no one but you nor be interested in anything but this thing within me, but will it not all begin again once I have returned to the Ashram? You alone know the stage I am at, what is good for me, what is possible.

Sweet Mother, may I still ask for your Love, your help? For without your help, nothing is possible, and without your love, nothing has any meaning.

I feel that I am your child in spite of all my contradictions and failings. I love you.

Signed: Bernard

(Mother’s reply)

9.19.56

My dear child,

For my part, there has been no ‘cut’ and I have not been


 severe ... My feelings cannot change, for they are based upon something other than outer circumstances.

But perhaps you have felt this way because you had left your work in the Ashram for an entirely personal, that is, necessarily egoistical reason, and egoism always isolates one from the great current of universal forces. That is why, too, you no longer clearly perceive my love and my help which nevertheless are always with you.

You asked me what I see and whether your difficulties will not reappear upon your return to the Ashram. It may well be. If you return as you still are at present, it may be that after a very short period it will all begin again. That is why I am going to propose something to you – but to accept it you will have to be heroic and very determined in your consecration to my work.

This possibility appeared to me while reading what you wrote about your sojourn in Brazil with W, the only ‘good’ rich man you have known. Here is my proposal, which I express to you quite plainly, spontaneously, as it presented itself to me.

Just now, the work is being delayed, curtailed, limited, almost endangered for want of money.

That which you would not do for yourself personally, would you not do it for the divine cause?

Go to Brazil, to this ‘good’ rich man, make him understand the importance of our work, the extent to which his fortune would be used to the utmost for the good of all and for the earth’s salvation were he to put it, even partially, at the disposal of our action. Win this victory over the power of money, and by so doing you will be freed from all your personal difficulties. Then you can return here with no apprehension, and you will be ready for the transformation.

Reflect upon this, take your time, tell me very frankly how you feel about it and whether it appears to you, as it does to me, to be a door opening onto a path that will bring you back, free and strong at last to me.

All my affection is with you, and my blessings never leave you.

Signed: Mother


 

@

October 7, 1956

I cried towards the Light and Thou gayest me knowledge.

Z asked me, ‘Why didn’t you stop it?” I replied, ‘Probably because I am not omnipotent!’ Then he insisted: ‘No, that’s not it. I make no distinction between your will and the divine will ... and I know that you don’t either. So why didn’t you stop it?’

And suddenly, I understood.

It was because I hadn’t thought of it. It hadn’t even grazed my consciousness. The divine will is not at all like that, it is not a will: it is a VISION, a global vision, that sees and ... No, it does not guide (to guide suggests something outside, but nothing is outside), a creative vision, as it were; yet even then, the word ‘create’ does not here have the meaning we generally attribute to it.

And what is the Ashram? (I don’t even mean in terms of the Universe – on Earth only.) A speck. And why should this speck receive exceptional treatment? ... Perhaps if people here had realized the supermind. But are they so exceptional as to expect exceptional treatment? ...

As Sri Aurobindo says, people see God as a magnified man: he is the Demiurge, Jehovah – what I call the ‘Lord of Falsehood.’

Arbitrariness. But the Divine is not like that!

People say, ‘I gave everything, I sacrificed everything. In exchange, I expect exceptional conditions – everything should be beautiful, harmonious, easy.’

But the divine vision is global. The people in the Ashram do not want this strike ... but what about the others? They are ignorant, mean, full of ill will, etc., but in their own way they are following a path, and why should they be deprived of the Grace? By the fact that their action is against the Ashram? It is certainly a Grace.

I said that I had not even thought of intervening. When things threatened to turn bad, I simply applied a force so that it wouldn’t become too serious.

Complete surrender ... It is not a matter of giving what is small to something greater nor of losing one’s will in the divine will; it is a matter of ANNULLING one’s will in something that is of another nature.

1. Mother is referring to a strike by the salaried workers of the Ashram, one of the numerous internal and external difficulties constantly assailing Her.


 

What comes to replace this human will?

A consciousness and a vision. And one is filled with joy and ...

I used to be different (although I was said to be non-interfering); I acted, if at all, to defend myself ... But I understood very quickly that even this was a reaction of ignorance and that things would be set right automatically if one remained in the true consciousness.

A consciousness that sees and makes you see.

Which is why things go amiss when people try to force me to act: I am outside of myself, so to speak. As soon as I come back here, with no one around, then I see.

I have called for a greater ‘package’ of Grace and asked that the truth of things prevail. We shall see what happens.

@

October 8, 1956

(At about 6 a.m., before Mother appeared on the balcony)

‘Be always at the height of yourself,

in all circumstances.’

Then I wondered when and how I am at the height of myself. And this is what I saw:

Two things which were parallel and concomitant – that is, they are always together:

One – identity with the Origin, which imparts an absolute serenity and perfect detachment to the action.

The other – identity with the supreme Grace, which obliterates and abolishes all errors committed in the action by whomsoever and whatsoever – and which annuls all the consequences of these errors.

And the moment I perceived this, I saw that my third attitude in action, which is the will for progress for the whole earth as


 well as for each particular individual, was not the height of my being.

***

(later, at 10 a.m.)

One is never anything but a divine apprentice: the Divine of yesterday is only an apprentice to the Divine of tomorrow ... No, I am not speaking of a progressive manifestation – that is much farther below.

When I am at my highest, I am already too high for the manifestation.

I have gone far beyond what I wrote this morning.

What if the human is too heavy, too narrow, too obscure to follow you?

No, it is exactly the opposite of what you are saying. It is not that the Divine in his divinity is opposed to his own manifested self – He is very far beyond, beyond the necessity for Grace; He perceives his unique and exclusive responsibility, and that it is He and He alone who must change in His Manifestation so that all may change.

***

(later, at 1 p.m.)

Won’t you at least take a flower?

I wanted to take this little rose (‘Tenderness for the Divine’), for I consider it to be the manifestation nearest to divine Love. It’s disinterested, spontaneous, intimate.

This is what I wanted to take with me to my super-heaven, as the most precious thing in the human heart.


 

@

October 28, 1956

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, October 28, 1956

Sweet Mother, my birthday is the day after tomorrow, the 30th. I come to place my inner situation before you so that you may help me take a decision.

I am facing the same difficulties as before my departure to Hyderabad, and I have made the same mistakes. The main reason for this state is that, on the one hand, words and ideas seem to have lost all power over me, and on the other, the vital elan which led me thus far is dead. So upon what shall my faith rest? I still have some faith, of course, but it has become totally ABSTRACT. The vital does not cooperate, so I feel all withered, suspended in a void, nothing seems to give me direction anymore. There is no rebelliousness in me, but rather a void.

In this state, I am ceaselessly thinking of my forest in Guiana or of my travels through Africa and the ardor that filled me with life in those days. I seem to need to have my goal before me and to walk towards it. Outer difficulties also seem to help me resolve my inner problems: there is a kind of need in me for the ‘elements’ – the sea, the forest, the desert – for a milieu with which I can wrestle and through which I can grow. Here, I seem to lack a dynamic point of leverage. Here, in the everyday routine, everything seems to be falling apart in me. Should I not return to my forest in Guiana?

Mother, I implore you, in the name of whatever led me to you in the first place, give me the strength to do WHAT HAS TO BE DONE. You who see and who can, decide for me. You are my Mother. Whatever my shortcomings, my difficulties, I feel I am so deeply your child.

Signed: Bernard

P.S. If you see that I should remain here, put in me the necessary strength and aspiration. I shall obey you. I want to obey you.


 

(Mother’s reply)

1 0.30.56

One should beware of the charm of memories. What remains of past experiences is the effect they have had in the development of the consciousness. But when one attempts to relive a memory by placing oneself again in similar circumstances, one realizes quite rapidly how devoid they are of their power and charm, because they have lost their usefulness for progress.

You are now beyond the stage when the virgin forest and the desert can be useful for your growth. They had put you in contact with a life vaster than your own and they widened the limits of your consciousness. But now you need something else.

So far, your whole life has revolved around yourself; all you have done, even the apparently most disinterested or least egoistic act, has been done with a view to your own personal growth or illumination. It is time to live for something other than yourself, something other than your own individuality.

Open a new chapter in your existence. Live, no longer for your own realization or the realization of your ideal, however exalted it may be, but to serve an eternal work that transcends your individuality on all sides.

Signed: Mother

@

November 22, 1956

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, November 22, 1956

Sweet Mother,

For weeks on end, I have been spending nearly all my nights battling with serpents. Last night, I was attacked by three different kinds of serpents, each more venomous and repugnant than the other???

Signed: Bernard


 

@

December 12, 1956

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, December 12, 1956

Mother, a letter from W. He is leaving Brazil and retiring from business for good.

Mother, what can I do with my life? I feel absolutely alone, in a void. What hope remains since I have not been able to integrate into the Ashram? I am goalless. I am from nowhere. I am good for nothing.

I have wanted to remain near you, and I love you, but there is something in me that does not accept an ‘Ashram ending.’ There is a need in me to DO, to act. But what? What? Have I something to do in this life?

For years I have dreamed of going to Chinese Turkestan. Should I head in that direction? Or towards Africa?

I don’t see a thing, nothing. Oh Mother, I turn towards you in this void that is stifling me. Hear my prayer. Tell me what I must do. Give me a sign. Mother, you are my sole recourse, for who else would show me the path to be taken, who else but you would love me? Or is my fate to go off into the night?

Forgive me, Mother, for loving you so poorly, for giving myself so badly. Mother, you are my only hope, all the rest in me is utter despair.

Your child,

Signed: Bernard

@

December 26, 1956

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, December 26, 1956

Mother, perhaps it would be good if I told you what is happening within me, as sincerely as I can:


 

I feel that this Truth of my being, this self most intensely felt, is independent from any form or institution. As far back as I can reach in my consciousness, this ‘thing’ has been there; it was what drove me at an early age to liberate myself from my family, my religion, my country, a profession, marriage or society in general. I feel this ‘thing’ to be a kind of absolute freedom, and I have been feeling within me this same profound drive for more than a year. Is this need for freedom wrong? And yet is it not because of this that the best in me has blossomed?

This is actually what is happening in me: I never really accepted the W solution, and the solution of Somaliland doesn’t appeal to me. But I feel drawn by the idea of Turkestan, as I already told you, and this is why:

Ten years ago, I had two intuitions – the first of which, to my great astonishment, was realized. It was that I had something important to do in South America – and though I never could have foreseen such a voyage, I went there. The second was that I had something to do in Turkestan.

Mother, this is the problem around which I have desperately been turning in circles. What is the truth of my destiny? Is it that which is urging me so strongly to leave, or that which is struggling against my freedom? For ultimately, sincerely, what I want is to fulfill my life’s truth. If I have ever had a will, then it is: LET BE WHAT MUST BE. Mother, how can one truly know? Is this drive, this very old and very CLEAR urge in me, false??

Your child,

Signed: Bernard

@

January 1, 1957

1957

A power greater than that of Evil

can alone win the victory.

It is not a crucified

but a glorified body

that will save the world.

@

January 18, 1957

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, January 18, 1957

Sweet Mother,

The conflict that is tearing me apart is between this shadowy part of a past that does not want to die, and the new light. I wonder if, rather than escaping to some desert, it would not be wiser to resolve this conflict by objectify it, by writing this book I spoke to you about.

But I would like to know whether it is really useful for me to write this book, or whether it is not just some inferior task, a makeshift.

You told me one day that I could be ‘useful’ to you. Then, by chance, I came across this passage from Sri Aurobindo the other day: ‘Everyone has in him something divine, something his own, a chance of perfection and strength in however small a sphere which God offers him to take or refuse.’

Could you tell me, as a favor, what this particular thing is in me which may be useful to you and serve you? If I could only know what my real work is in this world ... All the conflicting impulses in me stem from my being like an unemployed force, like a being whose place has not yet been determined.


 

What do you see in me, Mother? Is it through writing that I shall achieve what is to be achieved – or does all this still belong to a nether world? But if so, then of what use am I? If I were good at something, it would give me some air to breathe.

Your child,

Signed: Bernard

@

March 3, 1957

(Letter from Mother to Satprem)

3.3.57

I name you Satprem (true love) for it is only when you awaken to divine love that you will feel that you love.

Signed: Mother

@

April 9, 1957

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, April 9, 1957

Mother,

I would like to throw myself at your feet and open my heart to you – but I cannot. I cannot.

For I SEE that, were I to give in now, I would be done for – there would be no alternative but to live out the rest of my days in the Ashram. But everything in me rebels at this idea. The idea of winding up as General Secretary of the Ashram, like Pavitra, makes my skin crawl. It is absurd, and I apologize for speaking this way, Mother, for I admire Pavitra – but I can’t help it, I can’t do it, I do not want to end up like that.


 

For more than a year now, I have been hypnotized by the idea that if I give in, I will be ‘condemned’ to remain here. Once more, forgive me for speaking so absurdly, for of course I know it is not a ‘condemnation’; and yet a part of me feels that it would be.

Thus I am so tense that I do not even want to close my eyes to meditate for fear of yielding. And I fall into all kinds of errors that horrify me, simply because the pressure is too strong at times, and I literally suffocate. Mother, I am not cut out to be a ‘disciple.’

I realize that all the progress I was able to make during the first two years has been lost and I am just as before, worse than before – as if all my strength were in ruin, all faith in myself undone – so much so that at times I curse myself for having come here at all.

That is the situation, Mother. I feel my unworthiness profoundly. I am the opposite of Satprem, unable to love and to give myself. Everything in me is sealed tight.

So what is to be done? I intend asking your permission to leave as soon as the book is finished (I am determined to finish it, for it will rid me of the past it represents). I expect nothing from the world, except a bit of external space, in the absence of another space.

Signed: Bernard

P.S. And yet, even if I leave, I know that I shall have to come back here ... Everything is a paradox, and I CANNOT get out of this paradox.

(Mother’s reply)

April 11, 1957

My dear child,

I read your letter yesterday, and here is the answer that immediately came to me. I add to it the assurance that nothing has changed, nor can change, in my relationship with you, and that you are and always will be my child – for that is the truth of your being.

Here is what I wrote:

In your ignorance, you created a phantom of your destiny, and then, out of this non-existent ghost, you made a hobgoblin around which all the resistances of your outer nature have crystallized.


 

It is a double ignorance:

– in the universe, there are not – there cannot be – two similar destinies.

– each one’s destiny is inevitably fulfilled, but the nearer one is to the Divine, the more does this destiny assume its divine qualities.

I am saying all this so that you do not hypnotize yourself further with some imaginary and groundless possibility.

I am with you always.

Signed: Mother

@

Undated 1957

When a serious decision has to be made, how can one know in which direction lies one’s true destiny?

We do not have one destiny, but several destinies.

Each one has the right to reunite with his supreme Origin whatever his place in the world order – that is the gift the Divine has given to matter, and this is your true destiny. And it is a special gift given to the earth; it does not exist in the other worlds. At the same time, each one has a particular role in the manifestation, which is determined by the Supreme, but this same role can exist on different levels depending upon the degree of evolution of ‘that’ which is within you. If ‘that’ within you is still very young, your realization may be absolute and you may effectively be able to reunite with the Supreme, but the field of realization in the world will be limited, very small. Along the vertical plane, you may be able to touch the Supreme directly, in spite of your smallness, but on the horizontal plane, the extent of your realization will be infinitesimal. We could take the example of Maheshwari, the Mother of Might and All-Wisdom. This aspect of the Mother will assume different forms depending upon the degree of evolution of ‘that’ within you: it might be a mere little group leader, a queen, an empress. She will be in the group leader as well as in the empress, but the field of realization will obviously be different.

1. The following conversation was noted from memory. At this time the conversations were not yet tape-recorded, and Satprem, alas, felt it proper to eliminate all personal issues so that only the “teaching’ would remain. The ‘serious decision’ in question concerns leaving the Ashram.


 

So, along this same vertical line that leads you to your divine Origin, you might have several outer destinies depending upon your state of development. The yoga seeks to accelerate things, but this is not always possible, for some psychological combinations in the being can only be worked out through experience. This experience may take a few lifetimes, a few years, a few months, a few minutes.

When seen from the supreme consciousness, the unfolding of all the destinies and all the possibilities of destiny is something infinitely interesting. For example, there are beings accused of megalomania because they have vast projects and great designs which do not always fit in with the world’s present possibilities. Most often, it is a simple lack of judgment on their part, a lack of knowledge. They have indeed entered into communication with a higher truth, something that probably corresponds to a future phase of their destiny (which is why they are so convinced), but through lack of judgment, they do not see that the time for this truth has not yet come, that the circumstances are not yet ready, or that the conditions in which they were born prevent them from carrying out what they feel to be true. There is a gap between the vision of a truth and its present possibilities for realization. But these great dreams must not be killed, for it would mean killing something of your own future. Above all, we must refuse, energetically reject, this hideous morality of the Philistine which says that ‘nothing ever changes,’ this flat and vulgar common sense a la Sancho Panza. Simply, one must know how to wait and to nurture one’s dreams for a long time.

To conclude, this is what may be said: in the universe, there are no two destinies alike – there cannot be.

Each one’s destiny is inevitably fulfilled, but the nearer one is to the Divine, the more this destiny assumes its divine qualities.


 

@

April 22, 1957

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, April 22, 1957

Sweet Mother,

The book is finished.’ I would like to give it to you personally, if it would not disturb you, whenever you wish.

Your child,

Signed: Satprem

July 3, 1957

(Extract from the Wednesday class)

I have been asked if we are doing a collective yoga and what are the conditions of a collective yoga.

First, I could tell you that to do a collective yoga, there has to be a collectivity! ... And I could speak to you about the different conditions required to be a collectivity. But last night (smiling), I had a symbolic vision of our collectivity.

This vision took place early in the night and woke me up with a rather unpleasant feeling. Then I fell back to sleep and forgot about it; but a little while ago, when I was thinking of the question put to me, it returned. It returned with a great intensity and so imperatively that now, just as I wanted to tell you what kind of collectivity we wish to realize according to the ideal described by Sri Aurobindo in the last chapter of The Life Divine – a gnostic, supramental collectivity, the only kind that can do Sri Aurobindo’s integral yoga and be realized physically in a progressive collective body becoming more and more divine – the recollection of this vision became so imperative that I couldn’t speak.

1. L’Orpailleur.


 

Its symbolism was very clear, though of quite a familiar nature, as it were, and because of its very familiarity, unmistakable in its realism ... Were I to tell you all the details, you would probably not even be able to follow: it was rather intricate. It was a kind of (how can I express it?) – an immense hotel where all the terrestrial possibilities were lodged in different apartments. And it was all in a constant state of transformation: parts or entire wings of the building were suddenly torn down and rebuilt while people were still living in them, such that if you went off somewhere within the immense hotel itself, you ran the risk of no longer finding your room when you wanted to return to it, for it might have been torn down and was being rebuilt according to another plan! It was orderly, it was organized ... yet there was this fantastic chaos which I mentioned. And all this was a symbol – a symbol that certainly applies to what Sri Aurobindo has written here’ regarding the necessity for the transformation of the body, the type of transformation that has to take place for life to become a divine life.

It went something like this: somewhere, in the center of this enormous edifice, there was a room reserved – as it seemed in the story – for a mother and her daughter. The mother was a lady, an elderly lady, a very influential matron who had a great deal of authority and her own views concerning the entire organization. Her daughter seemed to have a power of movement and activity enabling her to be everywhere at once while at the same time remaining in her room, which was ... well, a bit more than a room – it was a kind of apartment which, above all, had the characteristic of being very central. But she was constantly arguing with her mother. The mother wanted to keep things ‘just as they were,’ with their usual rhythm, which precisely meant the habit of tearing down one thing to rebuild another, then again tearing down that to build still another, thus giving the building an appearance of frightful confusion. But the daughter did not like this, and she had another plan. Most of all, she wanted to bring something completely new into the organization: a kind of super-organization that would render all this confusion unnecessary. Finally, as it was impossible for them to reach an understanding, the daughter left the room to go on a kind of general inspection ... She went out, looked everything over, and then wanted to return to her room to decide upon some final measures. But this is where something rather ... peculiar began happening.

1. The Supramental Manifestation, (Cent. Ed. XVI, pp. 33-36.)


 

She clearly remembered where her room was, but each time she set out to go there, either the staircase disappeared or things were so changed that she could no longer find her way! So she went here and there, up and down, searched, went in and out ... but it was impossible to find the way to her room! Since all of this assumed a physical appearance – as I said, a very familiar and very common appearance, as is always the case in these symbolic visions – there was somewhere (how shall I put it?) the hotel’s administrative office and a woman who seemed to be the manager, who had all the keys and who knew where everyone was staying. So the daughter went to this person and asked her, ‘Could you show me the way to my room?’ – ‘But of course! Easily!’ Everyone around the manager looked at her as if to say, ‘How can you say that?’ However, she got up, and with authority asked for a key – the key to the daughter’s room – saying, ‘I shall take you there.’ And off she went along all kinds of paths, but all so complicated, so bizarre! The daughter was following along behind her very attentively, you see, so as not to lose sight of her. But just as they should have come to the place where the daughter’s room was supposed to be, suddenly the manageress (let us call her the manageress), both the manageress and her key ... vanished! And the sense of this vanishing was so acute that ... at the same time, everything vanished!

So ... to help you understand this enigma, let me tell you that the mother is physical Nature as she is, and the daughter is the new creation. The manageress is the world’s organizing mental consciousness as Nature has developed it thus far, that is, the most advanced organizing sense to have manifested in the present state of material Nature. This is the key to the vision.

Naturally, when I awoke, I immediately knew what could resolve this problem which appeared so absolutely insoluble. The vanishing of the manageress and her key was an obvious sign that she was altogether incapable of leading what could be called ‘the creative consciousness of the new world’ to its true place.

I knew this, but I did not have a vision of the solution, which means it has yet to manifest; this ‘thing’ had not yet manifested in the building, this fantastic construction, although it is the very mode of consciousness which could transform this incoherent creation into something real, truly conceived, willed and materialized, with a center in its proper place, a recognized place, and with a REAL effective power.

(silence)


 

The symbolism is quite clear in that all the possibilities are there, all the activities are there, but in disorder and confusion. They are neither coordinated nor centralized nor unified around the central and unique truth and consciousness and will. So this brings us back ... precisely to this question of a collective yoga and of a collectivity capable of realizing it. What should this collectivity be?

It is certainly not an arbitrary construction of the type built by men, where everything is put pell-mell, without any order, without reality, and which is held together by only illusory ties. Here, these ties were symbolized by the hotel’s walls, while actually in ordinary human constructions (if we take a religious community, for example), they are symbolized by the building of a monastery, an identity of clothing, an identity of activities, an identity even of movement – or to put it more precisely: everyone wears the same uniform, everyone gets up at the same time, everyone eats the same thing, everyone says his prayers together, etc.; there is an overall identity. But naturally, on the inside there remains the chaos of many disparate consciousnesses, each one following its own mode, for this kind of group identification, which extends right up to an identity of beliefs and dogma, is absolutely illusory.

Yet it is one of the most common types of human collectivity – to group together, band together, unite around a common ideal, a common action, a common realization but in an absolutely artificial way. In contrast to this, Sri Aurobindo tells us that a true community – what he terms a gnostic or supramental community – can be based only upon the INNER REALIZATION of each one of its members, each realizing his real, concrete oneness and identity with all the other members of the community; that is, each one should not feel himself a member connected to all the others in an arbitrary way, but that all are one within himself. For each one, the others should be as much himself as his own body – not in a mental and artificial way, but through a fact of consciousness, by an inner realization.

(silence)

This means that before hoping to realize such a gnostic collectivity, each one must first of all become (or at least start to become) a gnostic being. It is obvious that the individual work must take the lead and the collective work follow; but the fact remains that spontaneously, without any arbitrary intervention of


will the individual progress IS restrained or CHECKED, as It were, by the collective state. Between the collectivity and the individual, there exists an interdependence from which one cannot be totally free, even if one tries. And even he who might try, in his yoga, to free himself totally from the human and terrestrial state of consciousness, would be at least subconsciously bound by the state of the whole, which impedes and PULLS BACKWARDS. One can attempt to go much faster, one can attempt to let all the weight of attachments and responsibilities fall off, but in spite of everything, the realization of even the most advanced or the leader in the march of evolution is dependent upon the realization of the whole, dependent upon the state in which the terrestrial collectivity happens to be. And this PULLS backwards to such an extent that sometimes one has to wait centuries for the earth to be ready before being able to realize what is to be realized.

This is why Sri Aurobindo has also written somewhere else that a double movement is necessary: the effort for individual progress and realization must be combined with the effort of trying to uplift the whole so as to enable it to make a progress indispensable for the greater progress of the individual: a mass progress, if you will, that allows the individual to take a further step forward.

And now you understand why I had thought it would be useful to have a few meditations in common, to work at creating a common atmosphere a bit more organized than ... my big hotel of last night!

So, the best way to use these meditations (and they are going to increase, since we are now also going to replace the ‘distributions’ with short meditations) is to go deep within yourselves, as far as you can, and find the place where you can feel, perceive and perhaps even create an atmosphere of oneness wherein a force of order and organization can put each element in its true place, and out of the chaos existing at this hour, make a new, harmonious world surge forth.


 

@

July 18, 1957

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, July 18, 1957

Sweet Mother,

I have just received a letter from my friends in charge of the French Archaeological Expedition to Afghanistan. They need someone to assist them on their next field excavations (August 15 December 15) and have offered to take me if I wish to join them.

If I must have some new experience outside, this one has the advantage of being short-termed and not far away from India, and it is also in an interesting milieu. The only disadvantage is that I would have to pay for the trip as far as Kabul. But I don’t want to do anything that displeases you or of which you do not really approve. In the event you might feel this to be a worthwhile experience, I would have to leave by the beginning of August.

I place this in your hands, sincerely.

Your child,

Signed: Satprem

@

Undated 1957

(Letter from Mother to Satprem)

Thursday

My dear child,

Those to whom I have said, ‘You are my children,’ are always so, no matter where they are or what they do.

Thus you are sure of always remaining my child – for the rest, act according to your heart, and you will always have my blessings.

Signed: Mother


 

@

September 27, 1957

(A child’s question concerning a vision in which Mother had appeared to her in a luminous body)

Why have you come as we are?

Why haven’t you come as you really are?

Had I not come as you are, I would never have been able to be close to you and tell you:

‘Become what I am.’

@

October 8, 1957

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, October 8, 1957

Mother,

I come to ask your permission to leave India. For more than a year now, I have been fighting not to leave, but this seems to be the wrong strategy.

There is no question of my abandoning the path – and I remain convinced that the only goal in life is spiritual. But I need things to help me along the way: I am not yet ripe enough to depend upon inner strength alone. And when I speak of the forest or a boat, it is not only for the sake of adventure or the feeling of space, but also because they mean a discipline. Outer constraints and difficulties help me, they force me to remain concentrated around that which is best in me. In a sense, life here is too easy. Yet it is also too hard, for one must depend on one’s own discipline – I do not yet have that strength, I need to be helped by outer circumstances. The very difficulty of life in the outside world helps me to be disciplined, for it forces me to concentrate all my vital strength in effort. Here, this vital part is unemployed, so it acts foolishly, it strains at the leash.


 

I doubt that a new experience outside can really resolve things, but I believe it might help me make it to the next stage and consolidate my inner life. And if you wish, I would return in a year or two.

I shall soon have completed the revision’ of The Life Divine and The Human Cycle, so I believe I shall have done the best I could, at present, to serve you. October 30th is my birthday. Could I leave immediately thereafter?

It is not because I am unhappy with the Ashram that I want to leave, but because I am unhappy with myself and because I want to master myself through other means.

I give you so little love, but I have tried my best, and my departure is not a betrayal.

Your child,

Signed: Satprem

(Mother’s reply)

Wednesday, 10.8.57

My dear child,

This is not an answer, but a comment.

There is a joy to which you still seem completely closed: it is the joy of SERVING.

In truth, the only thing in the world that interests you, directly or indirectly, is YOURSELF. That is why you feel imprisoned within such narrow, stifling limits.

Signed: Mother

@

October 17, 1957

(On freedom)

There are all kinds of freedom – mental freedom, vital freedom, spiritual freedom – which are the fruits of successive masteries. But a completely new freedom has become possible with the Supramental Manifestation: it is the freedom of the body.

1. Of Mother’s French translation of these two books by Sri Aurobindo.


 

One of the very first results of the supramental manifestation was to give the body a freedom and an autonomy it has never before known. And when I say freedom, I don’t mean some psychological perception or an inner state of consciousness, but something else and far better – it is a new phenomenon in the body, in the cells of the body. For the first time, the cells themselves have felt that they are free, that they have the power to decide. When the new vibrations came and combined with the old ones, I felt it at once and it showed me that a new world was really taking birth.

In its normal state, the body always feels that it is not its own master: illnesses invade it without its really being able to resist them – a thousand factors impose themselves or exert pressure upon it. Its sole power is the power to defend itself, to react. Once the illness has got in, it can fight and overcome it – even modern medicine has acknowledged that the body is cured only when it decides to get cured; it is not the drugs per se that heal, for if the ailment is temporarily suppressed by a drug without the body’s will, it grows up again elsewhere in some other form until the body itself has decided to be cured. But this implies only a defensive power, the power to react against an invading enemy – it is not true freedom.

But with the supramental manifestation, something new has taken place in the body: it feels it is its own master, autonomous, with its two feet solidly on the ground, as it were. This gives a physical impression of the whole being suddenly drawing itself up, with its head lifted high – I am my own master.

We live perennially with a burden on our shoulders, something that bows our heads down, and we feel pulled, led by all kinds of external forces, we don’t know by whom or what, nor where to – this is what men call Fate, Destiny. When you do yoga, one of the first experiences – the experience of the kundalini, as it is called here in India – is precisely one in which the consciousness rises, breaks through this hard ‘lid,’ here, at the crown of the head, and at last you emerge into the Light. Then you see, you know, you decide and you realize – difficulties may still remain, but truly speaking one is above them. Well, as a result of the supramental manifestation, it is THIS experience that came into the body. The body straightened its head up and felt its freedom, its independence.

During the flu epidemic, for example, I spent every day in the midst of people who were germ carriers. And one day, I clearly


 felt that the body had decided not to catch this flu. It asserted its autonomy. You see, it was not a question of the higher Will deciding, no. It didn’t take place in the highest consciousness: the body itself decided. When you are way above in your consciousness, you see things, you know things; but in actual fact, once you descend again into matter, it is like water running through sand. In this respect, things have changed, the body has a DIRECT power, independent of any outer intervention. Even though it is barely visible, I consider this to be a very important result.

And this new vibration in the body has allowed me to understand the mechanism of the transformation. It is not something that comes from a higher Will, not a higher consciousness that imposes itself upon the body: it is the body itself awakening in its cells, a freedom of the cells themselves, an absolutely new vibration that sets disorders right – even disorders that existed prior to the supramental manifestation.

Naturally, all this is a gradual process, but I am hopeful that little by little this new consciousness will grow, gain ground and victoriously resist the old forces of destruction and annihilation, and this Fatality we believed to be so inexorable.

@

October 18, 1957

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, October 18, 1957

Sweet Mother,

This evening, you spoke of the possibility of shortening the path of realization to a few months, days or hours. And yesterday, when you talked to me about ‘the freedom of the body,’ you spoke of the experience of the Kundalini, of this ‘breaking of the lid’ that makes you emerge once and for all, above difficulties, into the light.

I need a practical method corresponding to my present possibilities and to results of which I am presently capable. I feel that my efforts are dispersed by concentrating sometimes here, sometimes there – a feeling of not knowing exactly what to do to break


through and get out of all this. Would you point out some particular concentration to which I could adhere, a particular method that I would stick to?

I am well aware that a supple attitude is recommended in the Yoga, yet for the time being, it seems to me that one well-defined method would help me hold on’ – this practical aspect would help me. I will do it methodically, obstinately, until it cracks for good.

Your child,

Signed: Satprem

@

November 12, 1957

The integral yoga is made up of an uninterrupted series of tests that you must pass through without any advance notice, thereby forcing you to be always vigilant and attentive.

Three groups of examiners conduct these tests. Apparently they have nothing in common and their methods are so different, at times even so seemingly contradictory, that they do not appear to work towards the same goal, and yet they complete one another, they work together for a common aim and each is indispensable for the integral result.

These three categories of tests are: those conducted by the forces of Nature, those conducted by the spiritual and divine forces, and those conducted by the hostile forces. This latter category is the most deceptive in its appearance, and a constant state of vigilance, sincerity and humility is required so as not to be caught by surprise or unprepared.

The most commonplace circumstances, people, the everyday events of life, the most seemingly insignificant things, all belong to one or another of these three categories of examiners. In this considerably complex organization of tests, those events generally considered the most important in life are really the easiest of all examinations to pass, for they find you prepared and on your guard. One stumbles more easily over the little pebbles on the path, for they attract no attention.

1. This unique method was to be the mantra, as Mother herself would discover.


 

The qualities more particularly required for the tests of physical Nature are endurance and plasticity, cheerfulness and fearlessness.

For the spiritual tests: aspiration, confidence, idealism, enthusiasm and generosity in self-giving.

For the tests stemming from the hostile forces: vigilance, sincerity and humility.

But do not imagine that those who are tested are on one side and those who test on the other; depending upon the times and circumstances, we are both examiners and examined, and it may even happen that simultaneously, at the very same moment, we are the examined and the examiner. And whatever benefits we derive depend, in both quality and quantity, upon the intensity of our aspiration and the alertness of our consciousness.

To conclude, a final recommendation: never pose as an examiner. For while it is good to remember constantly that perhaps one is passing a very important test, it is, on the other hand, extremely dangerous to imagine oneself entrusted with applying tests to others, for that is an open door to the most absurd and harmful vanities. It is not an ignorant human will that decides these things but the Supreme Wisdom.

***

Each time a progress is to be made, there is a test to pass.

@

November 13, 1957

Widen yourself as far as the extreme bounds of the universe – and beyond.

Take upon yourself always all the necessities of progress and dissolve them in the ecstasy of Unity. Then you will be divine.


 

@

Undated 1957

What is meant exactly by, ‘I am with you.’ Are we really always heard when we pray of struggle with an inner problem – in spite of our blunders and imperfections, even in spite of our ill will and mistakes? And who hears? You who are with us?

Is it you in your supreme consciousness, an impersonal divine force, the force of the yoga, or you, the embodied Mother with your physical consciousness – a personal presence really intimate to our every thought and act, and not some anonymous force? Can you tell us how and in what way you are present with us?

It is said that Sri Aurobindo and you are one and the same consciousness, but are the personal presence of Sri Aurobindo and your own personal presence two distinct things, each playing a particular role?

I am with you because I AM you or you are me.

‘I am with you’ means a world of things, for I am with you at every level, on every plane, from the supreme consciousness to my most physical consciousness. Here, in Pondicherry, you cannot breathe without breathing my consciousness. It permeates the atmosphere in the subtle physical almost materially and extends right to the lake, seven miles away from here. Beyond, my consciousness can be felt in the material vital, and then on the mental and the other higher planes everywhere. When I came here for the first time, I felt Sri Aurobindo’s atmosphere, felt it materially, ten miles from the shore – ten nautical miles, not kilometers! It was very sudden, very concrete, a pure and luminous atmosphere, light, so light that it lifts you up.

A long time ago, Sri Aurobindo had this reminder, with which you are all quite familiar, put up everywhere in the Ashram: ‘Always behave as if the Mother was looking at you; because she is, indeed, always present.’

This is not some mere sentence, these are not just words, it is a fact. I am very concretely with you, and those with a subtle vision can see me.

Generally speaking, my Force is constantly here at work, constantly changing the psychological elements of your being to put them into new relationships and to make clear to you the diverse


facets of your nature so that you may see what must be changed, developed or eliminated.

But besides all this, there is a special personal bond of affection between you and me, between all who have turned towards Sri Aurobindo’s teaching and me – and of course, distance does not count; you may be in France, at the other end of the world, or in Pondicherry, but this bond remains just as real and as living. Each time there is a call, each time I need to know something to send out a force, an inspiration, a protection or whatever else, a sort of message suddenly comes to me, and I do what is needed. Obviously, these communications come to me at any moment whatsoever, and you may have seen me more than once suddenly stop in the middle of a sentence or some work: it means something, some communication is coming, so I concentrate.

There is more than a bond with those whom I have accepted as disciples, those to whom I have said ‘yes’ – there is an emanation of myself. Whenever necessary, this emanation notifies me as to what is happening. In fact, I know constantly, but all these things are not registered in my active memory, otherwise I would be flooded – the physical consciousness acts as a filter: things are recorded on a subtle plane and remain there in the latent state, rather like music that is silently recorded, and when I need to know something with my physical consciousness, I plug into this subtle plane and the tape starts playing. Then I can see things, their evolution and the present result.

And if, for some reason or other, you write asking for my help, and I answer, ‘I am with you,’ this means that the communication with you becomes active, that you are even in my active consciousness for some time – the time needed.

And this bond between you and me is never cut. There are people who left the Ashram a long time ago, in a state of revolt, and yet I continue to know them and to take care of them. You are never abandoned.

In truth, I feel responsible for everyone, even for people I have met for only one second in my life.

Now, you know that Sri Aurobindo and I are always one and the same consciousness, one and the same person. Only, when this unique force or presence is felt in your individual consciousness, it assumes different forms or appearances depending upon your temperament, your aspirations, your needs, the particular cast of your nature. Your individual consciousness is


like a filter, a pointer, as it were; it makes a choice and settles upon one possibility in the infinity of divine possibilities. In truth, the Divine gives to each one exactly what he expects from Him. If you believe the Divine to be distant and cruel, He will be distant and cruel, because it may be necessary for your supreme wellbeing to feel the wrath of God. He will be Kali’ for the worshippers of Kali, and bliss for the bhakta.2 He will be the All-Knowledge of seekers after Knowledge, the Transcendent Impersonal of the illusionist. He will be an atheist for the atheist, and the love of the lover. He will be fraternal and near, an ever faithful friend, ever helpful, to those who feel him as the inner guide of each movement, at each minute. And if you believe that He can erase everything, He will erase all your faults, all your errors, tirelessly, and at each moment you will feel his infinite Grace. In truth, the Divine is what you expect of Him in your deep aspiration.

And once you enter into this consciousness where all things are seen with a single look, the infinite multitude of the Divine’s relationships with men, you realize how wonderful everything is, in every detail. You can also look at the history of mankind and see how much the Divine has evolved depending upon what men have understood, desired, hoped for or dreamed; how he was materialistic with the materialist, and how each day he grows, draws nearer, becomes more luminous, as the human consciousness widens. Everyone is free to choose. The perfection of this endless variety of relationships between man and God throughout the history of the world is an unutterable wonder. Yet all this together is but a second in the total manifestation of the Divine.

The Divine is with you according to your aspirations. This does not mean, naturally, that He bends to the whims of your outer nature – I am speaking here of the truth of your being. Yet sometimes He does fashion himself according to your outer aspirations; and if, like the devout, you live alternately in estrangement and embrace, ecstasy and despair, the Divine too will be estranged from you or draw near, according to your belief. Therefore, one’s attitude is extremely important, even one’s outer attitude. People do not know just how important faith is, how faith is miracle – the creator of miracles. For if at each moment, you expect to be uplifted and drawn towards the Divine, He will come and uplift you, and He will be there, very near, nearer and nearer.

1. Kali: the warrior (or destroyer) aspect of the Divine.

2. Bhakta: one who follows the path of love.


 

Undated 1957

THE MOTHER’S SUTRAS’

1) Be ambitious for nothing, above all pretend nothing, but be at each instant the utmost of what you can be.2

2) As for your place in the universal manifestation, only the Supreme can assign it to you.

3) It is the Supreme Lord who has ineluctably decreed the place you occupy in the universal concert, but whatever be this place, you have equally the same right as all others to ascend the supreme summits right to the supramental realization.

4) What you are in the truth of your being is decreed in an irrevocable way, and nothing nor anyone can stop you from being it; but the path you take to get there is left to your own free choice.

5) On the road of the ascending evolution, every one is free to choose the direction he will take: the swift and steep climb towards the summits of Truth, to the supreme realization, or turning his back to the peaks, the easy descent to the interminable meanderings of endless incarnations.

6) In the course of time and even in the course of your present life, you can make your choice once and for all, irrevocably, and then you have only to confirm it with every new occasion; or else if you do not take a definite decision from the beginning, you will have to choose anew at each moment between the falsehood and the Truth.

1. Sutra: aphorism, in Sanskrit.

2. This first Sutra was ultimately destined to become the epigraph to Satprem’s first novel, L’Orpailleur.


 

7) But even in the event you have not made the irrevocable decision at the outset, should you have the good fortune to live during one of these unimaginable hours of universal history when the Grace is present, embodied upon earth, It will offer you, at certain exceptional moments, the renewed possibility of making a final choice that will lead you straight to the goal.

@

Undated 1957

(On past lives)

If we are to speak of these things truly, we must speak of everything, in all details, for among the innumerable experiences I have had for nearly eighty years, many were of such variety and apparently so contradictory that in truth it can be said that all is possible. Therefore, to say something about past lives without retrieving the thread that runs through all the elements is to open the door to dogmatism. One day they will say, ‘Mother said this, Mother said that ...’ and that is, alas, how dogmas are born.

So given the multiplicity of experiences and the impossibility of spending my life speaking and writing, you must clearly understand that everything is possible and not be dogmatic. Nevertheless, I can give you a few general indications.

It is only when one is consciously identified with his divine Origin that he can speak with complete truthfulness of a memory of past lives. Sri Aurobindo speaks of a progressive manifestation of the Spirit in the forms it inhabits. When one reaches the summit of this manifestation, one has a plunging view of the path already traversed, and one remembers.

But that does not mean remembering in a mental way. Those who claim to have been this or that baron in the Middle Ages or such and such a person who lived at such and such a place during such and such a time are fantasizing; they are simply victims of their own mental fancies. For what remains of past lives are not beautiful illustrated classics in which you see yourself as a great lord in a castle or a victorious general at the head of his army – all that is fiction. What remains is the memory of the INSTANTS


when the psychic being emerged from the depths of your being and revealed itself to you, or in other words, the memory of those moments when you were fully conscious. The growth of the consciousness is effected progressively through evolution, and the memory of past lives is generally limited to the critical moments of this evolution, to the great, decisive turning points that have marked some progress in your consciousness.

While living such minutes of your life, you do not at all care about remembering whether you were Lord so and so who lived at such and such a place during such and such a time – it is not the memory of your civil status that remains. On the contrary, you lose sight of these petty external things, these minor perishable details, so as to be fully ablaze in this revelation of the soul or this divine contact. And when you recall these minutes of your past lives, the memory is so intense that it seems very near, still living – much more living than most of the ordinary memories of your present life. At times, in dreams, when you enter into contact with certain planes of consciousness, you may also have memories with this same intensity, this vibrant hue, as it were, so much more intense than the colors and things of the physical world. These being the moments of true consciousness, all assumes an extraordinary radiance, everything is vibrant, everything is charged with a quality that eludes our ordinary vision.

These minutes of contact with the soul are often those that mark a decisive turning point in one’s life, a step forward; a progress in consciousness, and they frequently result from a crisis, a situation of extreme intensity, when a call surges forth from the whole being, a call so strong that the inner consciousness pierces through the unconscious layers that envelop it and is revealed fully luminous upon the surface. This very strong call of the being can also call forth the descent of a divine emanation, an individuality, a divine aspect that unites with your own individuality at a given moment to do a given work, to win a particular battle, to express this thing or that. Then, when the work is accomplished, this emanation most often withdraws. So it may be that one retains the memory of the circumstances surrounding these minutes of revelation or inspiration, one sees again a landscape, the color of a garment one was wearing, the shade of one’s skin, things that were around you at that particular moment – all this is imprinted in an indelible way, with an extraordinary intensity, for the details of ordinary life are then also revealed in their true


intensity, their true tonality. The consciousness that reveals itself in you reveals at the same time the consciousness in things. These details can sometimes help you reconstitute the period in which you lived or the deeds that were accomplished, surmise the country where you lived, but it is quite easy, too, to fantasize and mistake one’s imaginings for reality.

You should not conclude, however, that all memories of past lives refer to moments of great crisis, important missions or revelations. Sometimes these are very simple, transparent minutes when a perfect and integral harmony of the being is expressed. And these may correspond to entirely insignificant external situations.

But apart from the things that were around you at that minute, apart from that minute of contact with your psychic being, nothing remains. Once the privileged moment has passed, the psychic being sinks back into its inner somnolence and the whole outer life fades into a monotonous gray which leaves no trace. In fact, something of the same phenomenon occurs in the course of your present life: apart from those exceptional moments when you are at the summit of your mental, vital or even physical being, the rest of your existence seems to fade into an uninteresting, dull tonality, and it matters very little whether you have been at this place or some other or whether you have done this thing rather than another. If suddenly you try to look at your life in order to gather its essence – to peer twenty or thirty or forty years behind you – you will see two or three images spontaneously leap before you, and they are the true minutes of your life, but all the rest fades away. A spontaneous choice and a tremendous elimination thus take place in your consciousness. This gives you an idea of what happens in regard to past lives: a choice of a few special moments, and an immense elimination.

Of course, one’s early lives are quite rudimentary and little remains of them, a few scattered memories. But the more you progress in consciousness and the more the psychic being consciously associates itself with the outer activities, the more abundant, coherent and precise do the memories become – yet here too the memory that remains is that of the contact with the soul, and sometimes of the things associated with the psychic revelation – not your civil status nor the ever-changing setting. And this explains why these so-called memories of animal lives partake of the highest fantasies; in animals, the divine spark is too deeply buried to come to the surface consciously and be associated with the


outer life. One must become a totally conscious being, in all the parts of the being, and be totally united with one’s divine origin before one can truly say that one recalls his past lives.

* 1957

@

December 13, 1957

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, December 13, 1957

Sweet Mother, this is what is rising from my soul: I feel in me something unemployed, something seeking to express itself in life. I want to be like a knight, your knight, and go off in search of a treasure that I could bring back to you. The world has lost all sense of the wonderful, all beauty of Adventure, this quest known to the knights of the Middle Ages. It is this that calls so relentlessly within me, this need for a quest in the world and for a beautiful Adventure which at the same time would be an adventure of the soul. How I wish that the two things, inner and outer, be JOINED, that the joy of action, of the open road and the quest help the soul’s blossoming, that they be like a prayer of the soul expressed in life. The knights of the Middle Ages knew this. Perhaps it is all childish and absurd in the midst of this 20th century, but this is what I feel, this that is summoning me to leave – not anything base, not anything mediocre, only a need for something in me to be fulfilled. If only I could bring you back a beautiful treasure!

After that, perhaps I would be riper to accept the everyday life of the Ashram, and know how to give myself better.

Mother, I feel all this very strongly; I need your help to follow the true path of my being and fulfill this new outer cycle, should you see that it has to be fulfilled. I feel so strongly that something remains for me to DO. Guide me, Sweet Mother.

Your child,

Signed. Satprem


 

@

December 21, 1957

The other day you told me that in order to know things, you plug into the subtle plane, and there it all unrolls as on a tape recorder. How does this work, exactly?

There is a whole gradation of planes of consciousness, from the physical consciousness to my radiant consciousness at the very highest level, that which knows the Will of the Supreme. I keep all these planes of consciousness in front of me, working simultaneously, coordinatedly, and I am acting on each plane, gathering the information proper to each plane, so as to have the integral truth of things. Thus, when I have a decision to make in regard to one of you, I plug into you directly from that level of the supreme consciousness which sees the deep truth of your being. But at the same time, my decision is shaped, as it were, by the information given to me by the other planes of consciousness and particularly by the physical consciousness, which acts as a recorder.

This physical consciousness records all it sees, all your reactions, your thoughts, all the facts – without preference, without prejudice, without persona] will. Nothing escapes it. Its work is almost mechanical. Therefore I know what to tell or to ask you according to the integral truth of your being and its present possibilities. Ordinarily, in the normal man, the physical consciousness does not see things as they are, for three reasons: because of ignorance, because of preference, and because of an egoistic will. You color what you see, eliminate what displeases you. In short, you see only what you desire to see.

Now, I recently had a very striking experience: a discrepancy occurred between my physical consciousness and the consciousness of the world. In some instances decisions made in the Light and the Truth produced unexpected results, upheavals in the consciousness of others that were neither foreseen nor desired, and I did not understand. No matter how hard I tried, I could not understand – and I emphasize this word ‘understand.’ At last, I had to leave my highest consciousness and pull myself down into the physical consciousness to find out what was happening. And there, in my head, I saw what appeared to be a little cell bursting, and suddenly I understood: the recording had been defective. The physical consciousness had neglected to register


certain of your lower reactions. It could not have been through preference or through personal will (these things were eliminated from my consciousness long, long ago). But I saw that this most material consciousness was already completely permeated with the transforming supramental truth, and it could no longer follow the rhythm of normal life. It was much more attuned to the true consciousness than to the world! I couldn’t possibly blame it for lagging behind; on the contrary, it was in front, too far ahead! There was a discrepancy between the rhythm of the transformation of my being and the world’s own rhythm. The supramental action on the world is slow, it does not act directly – it acts by infiltration, by traversing the successive layers, and the results are slow to come about. So I had to pull myself violently down in order to wait for the others.

One must at times know how not to know.

This experience showed me once more the necessity to be perfectly humble before the Lord. It is not enough merely to rise to the heights, to the ethereal planes of consciousness: these planes have also to descend into matter and illuminate it. Otherwise, nothing is really done. One must have the patience to establish the communication between the high and the low. I am like a tempest, a hurricane – if I listened to myself, I would tear into the future, and everything would go flying! But then, there would no longer be any communication with the rest.

One must have the patience to wait.

Humility, a perfect humility, is the condition for all realization. The mind is so cocksure. It thinks it knows everything, understands everything. And if ever it acts through idealism to serve a cause that appears noble to it, it becomes even more arrogant more intransigent, and it is almost impossible to make it see that there might. be something still higher beyond its noble conceptions and its great altruistic or other ideals. Humility is the only remedy. I am not speaking of humility as conceived by certain religions, with this God that belittles his creatures and only likes to see them down on their knees. When I was a child, this kind of humility revolted me, and I refused to believe in a God that wants to belittle his creatures. I don’t mean that kind of humility, but rather the recognition that one does not know, that one knows nothing, and that there may be something beyond what presently appears to us as the truest, the most noble or disinterested. True humility consists in constantly referring oneself to the Lord, in placing all before Him. When I receive a blow (and there are quite


a few of them in my sadhana), my immediate, spontaneous reaction, like a spring, is to throw myself before Him and to say, ‘Thou, Lord.’ Without this humility, I would never have been able to realize anything. And I say ‘I’ only to make myself understood, but in fact ‘I’ means the Lord through this body, his instrument. When you begin living THIS kind of humility, it means you are drawing nearer to the realization. It is the condition, the starting point.

***

(Note written by Mother in connection with the conversation of December 21, 1957)

At the very top, a constant vision of the Supreme’s will.

In the world, an overall vision of what is to be done.

Individually, at each moment and in each circumstance, the vision ‘of the truth of the moment, of the circumstance, of the individual.

In the external consciousness, the impersonal and mechanical recording of what is happening and of what are the people and things that comprise both the field of action and the limitations imposed upon this action. The recording is innately automatic and mechanical, without any kind of evaluation, as objective as possible.

@

Undated 1957

(Note from Mother to Satprem)

It is within oneself

that one finds

the Pretentaine.’

1. Pretentaine: name of the boat on which Satprem wanted to sail around the world alone.


 

@

January 1, 1958

(Extract from the Wednesday class)

O Nature, Material Mother, thou hast said that thou wilt collaborate and there is no limit to the splendor of this collaboration.

(Message of January 1, 1958)

Sweet Mother, will you explain this year’s message?

There is nothing to explain. It is an experience, something that took place, and when it took place, I noted it down; and it so happens that it occurred just as I remembered that I had to write something for the new year (which at that time was the following year, that is, the year beginning today). When I remembered that I had to write something – not because of that, but simultaneously – this experience came, and when I noted it down, I realized that it was ... the message for this year!

(Mother reads the notation of her experience)

During one of our classes (October 30, 1957), I spoke of the limitless abundance of Nature, this tireless Creatrice who takes the multitude of forms, mixes them together, separates them again and reforms them, again undoes them, again destroys them, in order to move on to ever new combinations. As I said, it is a huge cauldron. Things get churned up in it and somehow something emerges; if it’s defective, it is thrown back in and something else is taken out ... One form, two forms or a hundred forms make no difference to her, there are thousands upon thousands of forms – and one year, a hundred years, a thousand years, millions of years, what difference does it make? Eternity lies before her! She quite obviously enjoys herself and is in no hurry. If you speak to her of pressing on or of rushing through


some part of her work or other, her reply is always the same: ‘But what for? Why? Aren’t you enjoying it?’

The evening I told you these things, I totally identified myself with Nature and I entered into her play. And this movement of identification brought forth a response, a new kind of intimacy between Nature and myself, a long movement of drawing ever nearer which culminated in an experience that came on November 8.

Nature suddenly understood. She understood that this newborn Consciousness does not seek to reject her, but wants to embrace her entirely. She understood that this new spirituality does not stand apart from life, does not timorously recoil before the awesome richness of her movement, but on the contrary wants to integrate all her facets. She understood that the supramental consciousness is not there to diminish her but to make her complete.

Then, from the supreme Reality came this command: ‘Awaken, O Nature, to the joy of collaboration.’ And suddenly, all Nature rushed forth in an immense bounding of joy, saying, ‘I accept! I will collaborate!’ And at the same time, there came a calm, an absolute tranquillity, to allow this receptacle, this body, to receive and contain without breaking and without losing anything of the Joy of Nature that was rushing forth in a movement of grateful recognition like an overwhelming flood. She accepted, she saw – with all eternity before her – that this supramental consciousness would fulfill her more perfectly and impart a still greater force to her movement and more richness, more possibilities to her play.

And suddenly, as if resounding from every corner of the earth, I heard these great notes which are sometimes heard in the subtle physical – rather like those of Beethoven’s Concerto in D – which come at moments of great progress, as though fifty orchestras were bursting forth all at once without a single discordant note, to sound the joy of this new communion of Nature and Spirit, the meeting of old friends who, after a long separation, find each other once more.

Then came these words: ‘O Nature, Material Mother, thou hast said that thou wilt collaborate, and there is no limit to the splendor of this collaboration.’

And the radiant felicity of this splendor was perceived in a perfect peace.


 

Such was the birth of this year’s message.

(Then Mother comments)

I have one thing to add: we must not misinterpret the meaning of this experience and imagine that henceforth everything will take place without difficulties or always in accordance with our personal desires. It is not at this level. It does not mean that when we do not want it to rain, it will not rain! Or when we want some event to take place in the world, it will immediately take place, or that all difficulties will be abolished and everything will be like a fairy tale. It is not like that. It is something more profound. Nature has accepted into her play of forces the newly manifested Force and has included it in her movements. But as always, the movements of Nature take place on a scale infinitely surpassing the human scale and invisible to the ordinary human consciousness. It is more of an inner, psychological possibility that has been born in the world than a spectacular change in earthly events.

I mention this because you might be tempted to believe that fairy tales are going to be realized upon earth. The time has not yet come.

(silence)

We must have a great deal of patience and a very wide and very complex vision to understand how things work.

(silence)

The miracles that are taking place are not what could be called literary miracles, for they do not take place as in storybooks. They are visible only to a very profound vision of things – very profound, very comprehensive, very vast.

(silence)

You first have to be able to follow the methods and the means of the Grace to recognize its action. You first have to be able to remain unblinded by appearances to see the deeper truth of things.


 

@

Undated 1958

1) The Divine alone is true – all the rest is falsehood.

2) The Divine alone is real – all the rest is illusion.

3) The Divine alone is life – all the rest belongs to the kingdom of death.

4) The Divine alone is light – all the rest is semi-obscurity.

5) The Divine alone is love – all the rest is selfish sentimentality.

And yet the Divine is everywhere, in the ignorant man as well as in the sage.

And yet the Divine is everywhere, in the sinner as well as in the saint.

@

January 22, 1958

It is an error to confuse Joy and Felicity. They are two very different things. Not only are their vibrations different, but their colors are different. The color of Felicity is blue, a clear silvery blue (the blue of the Ashram flag), very luminous and transparent. And it has a passive and fresh quality that refreshes and rejuvenates.

Whereas Joy is a golden rose color, a pale gold with a tinge of red, a very pale red. It is active, warm, fortifying, intensifying. The first is sweetness, the second is tenderness.

And Bliss – what I spontaneously call Bliss – is the synthesis of both. It is found in the very heights of the supramental consciousness, in a diamond light, an uncolored, sparkling light containing all the colors. Joy and Felicity form two sides of a triangle that has Bliss at its apex.

Bliss contains coolness and warmth, passivity and activity, repose and action, sweetness and tenderness, all at the same time. Divine tenderness ... is something very different from sweetness – it is a paroxysm of joy, a vibration so strong that the body feels it will burst, so it is forced to widen.

1. Note written by Mother in English.


 

The diamond light of Bliss has the power to melt all hostile forces. Nothing can resist it. No consciousness, no being, no hostile will can draw near it without immediately being dissolved, for it is the Divine light in its pure creative power.

@

January 25, 1958

(Concerning Pakistan)

It is quite evident that for some reason or other – or perhaps for no reason at all – the Supreme has changed His mind about it.

@

Undated 1958

When the hostile forces want to attack those around me but do not succeed in making them overtly hostile to Sri Aurobindo’s work or in making them turn against me personally, they always use the same tactic, with the same argument: ‘You may have all the inner realizations you want,’ they say, ‘the most beautiful experiences possible inside your four Ashram walls, but as far as the outer world is concerned, your life is wasted, lost. There is an abyss you will never bridge between your inner experience and a concrete realization in the world.’

This is the number one argument of the hostile forces. I know it well – for millions of years I have been hearing them say the same thing over and over again, and each time I unmask them. It is a lie, it is THE Lie. All that seeks to establish a divorce between the Earth and the Spirit, all that separates the inner experience from the divine realization in the world is good for their purpose. But just the opposite is true! It is the inner realization that is the key to the outer realization. How can you possibly know the true thing you have to realize in the world as long as you do not possess the truth of your being?

* Note written by Mother in English (with a touch of irony so reminiscent of Sri Aurobindo).


 

@

February 3, 1958

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, February 3, 1958

Sweet Mother,

What you told me today at noon has left me stunned. I had decided to have my own way, but now I pray to be true.

I would like to tell you that ‘I am staying,’ very simply, for something in me wants this, but I am afraid to make a decision that I may not be able to keep. A force other than mine is needed. In short, you have to do the willing for me, to utter a word that would help me understand truly that I must stay here. Grant me the grace of helping and enlightening me. I would like to decide without preference, in obedience to the sole Truth and in accordance with my real possibilities.

I have received a long letter from Swami,’ who in essence says that I should be able to realize what I have to realize right here with you, but he does not refuse to take me with him should I persist in my intention.

Mother, I am placing all this in your hands, sincerely.

I am your child.

Signed: Satprem

1 A Sannyasi, or wandering monk, whom Satprem would join a few weeks later in Ceylon, on February 27, and who would initiate him as a Sannyasi. Unfortunately, almost all the correspondence from this period has been lost.


 

@

February 3, 1958

(The following experience was later read out to the Wednesday class on 2.19.58)

Between the beings of the supramental world and men, there exists approximately the same gap as between men and animals. Sometime ago, I had the experience of identification with animal life, and it is a fact that animals do not understand us; their consciousness is so constituted that we elude them almost entirely. And yet I have known domestic animals – cats and dogs, but especially cats – who made an almost yogic effort of consciousness to understand us. But generally, when they watch us living and acting, they don’t understand, they don’t SEE US as we are and they suffer because of us. We are a constant enigma to them Only a very tiny part of their consciousness is linked to us. And it is the same for us when we try to look at the supramental world. Only when the link of consciousness has been built shall we see it – and even then, only that part of our being which has undergone the transformation will be capable of seeing it as it is – otherwise the two worlds would remain as separate as the animal world and the human world.

The experience I had on February 3 proves this. Before, I had had an individual, subjective contact with the supramental world, whereas on February 3, I went strolling there in a concrete way – as concretely as I used to go strolling in Paris in times past – in a world that EXISTS IN ITSELF, beyond all subjectivity.

It is like a bridge being built between the two worlds.

This is the experience as I dictated it immediately thereafter:

(silence)

The supramental world exists in a permanent way, and I am there permanently in a supramental body. I had proof of this today when my earthly consciousness went there and consciously remained there between two and three o’clock in the afternoon: I now know that for the two worlds to join in a constant and conscious relationship what is missing is an intermediate zone between the existing physical world and the supramental world as it exists. This zone has yet to be built, both in the individual consciousness and in the objective world, and it is being built. When


formerly I used to speak of the new world that is being created, I was speaking of this intermediate zone. And similarly, when I am on ‘this’ side – that is, in the realm of the physical consciousness – and I see the supramental power, the supramental light and substance constantly permeating matter, I am seeing and participating in the construction of this zone.

I found myself upon an immense ship, which is the symbolic representation of the place where this work is being carried out. This ship, as big as a city, is thoroughly organized, and it had certainly already been functioning for quite some time, for its organization was fully developed. It is the place where people destined for the supramental life are being trained. These people (or at least a part of their being) had already undergone a supramental transformation because the ship itself and all that was aboard was neither material nor subtle-physical, neither vital nor mental: it was a supramental substance. This substance itself was of the most material supramental, the supramental substance nearest the physical world, the first to manifest. The light was a blend of red and gold, forming a uniform substance of luminous orange. Everything was like that – the light was like that, the people were like that – everything had this color, in varying shades, however, which enabled things to be distinguished from one another. The overall impression was of a shadowless world: there were shades, but no shadows. The atmosphere was full of joy, calm, order; everything worked smoothly and silently. At the same time, I could see all the details of the education, the training in all domains by which the people on board were being prepared.

This immense ship had just arrived at the shore of the supramental world, and a first batch of people destined to become the future inhabitants of the supramental world were about to disembark. Everything was arranged for this first landing. A certain number of very tall beings were posted on the wharf. They were not human beings and never before had they been men. Nor were they permanent inhabitants of the supramental world. They had been delegated from above and posted there to control and supervise the landing. I was in charge of all this since the beginning and throughout. I myself had prepared all the groups. I was standing on the bridge of the ship, calling the groups forward one by one and having them disembark on the shore. The tall beings posted there seemed to be reviewing those who were disembarking, allowing those who were ready to go ashore and sending


back those who were not and who had to continue their training aboard the ship. While standing there watching everyone, that part of my consciousness coming from here became extremely interested: it wanted to see, to identify all the people, to see how they had changed and to find out who had been taken immediately as well as those who had to remain and continue their training. After awhile, as I was observing, I began to feel pulled backwards and that my body was being awakened by a consciousness or a person from here’ – and in my consciousness, I protested: ‘No, no, not yet! Not yet! I want to see who’s there!’ I was watching all this and noting it with intense interest ... It went on like that until, suddenly, the clock here began striking three, which violently jerked me back. There was the sensation of a sudden fall into my body. I came back with a shock, but since I had been called back very suddenly, all my memory was still intact. I remained quiet and still until I could bring back the whole experience and preserve it.

The nature of objects on this ship was not that which we know upon earth; for example, the clothes were not made of cloth, and this thing that resembled cloth was not manufactured – it was a part of the body, made of the same substance that took on different forms. It had a kind of plasticity. When a change had to be made, it was done not by artificial and outer means but by an inner working, by a working of the consciousness that gave the substance its form or appearance. Life created its own forms. There was ONE SINGLE substance in all things; it changed the nature of its vibration according to the needs or uses.

Those who were sent back for more training were not of a uniform color; their bodies seemed to have patches of a grayish opacity, a substance resembling the earth substance. They were dull, as though they had not been wholly permeated by the light or wholly transformed. They were not like this all over, but in places.

The tall beings on the shore were not of the same color, at least they did not have this orange tint; they were paler, more transparent. Except for a part of their bodies, only the outline of their forms could be seen. They were very tall, they did not seem to have a skeletal structure, and they could take on any form according to their needs. Only from their waists to their feet did they have a permanent density, which was not felt in the rest of their body. Their color was much more pallid and contained very little red, it verged rather on gold or even white. The parts of whitish light were translucid; they were not absolutely transparent, but less dense, more subtle than the orange substance.

1. Indeed, one of the people near Mother had pulled Her out of the experience.


 

Just as I was called back, when I was saying, ‘Not yet ... ,’ I had a quick glimpse of myself, of my form in the supramental world. I was a mixture of what these tall beings were and the beings aboard the ship. The top part of myself, especially my head, was a mere silhouette of a whitish color with an orange fringe. The more it approached the feet, the more the color resembled that of the people on the ship, or in other words, orange; the more it went up towards the top, the more translucid and white it was, and the red faded. The head was only a silhouette with a brilliant sun at its center; from it issued rays of light which were the action of the will.

As for the people I saw aboard ship, I recognized them all. Some were here in the Ashram, some came from elsewhere, but I knew them as well. I saw everyone, but as I realized that I would not remember everyone when I came back, I decided not to give any names. Besides, it is unnecessary. Three or four faces were very clearly visible, and when I saw them, I understood the feeling that I have had here, on earth, while looking into their eyes: there was such an extraordinary joy ... On the whole, the people were young; there were very few children, and their ages were around fourteen or fifteen, but certainly not below ten or twelve (I did not stay long enough to see all the details). There were no very old people, with the exception of a few. Most of the people who had gone ashore were of a middle age – again, except for a few. Several times before this experience, certain individual cases had already been examined at a place where people capable of being supramentalized are examined; I had then had a few surprises which I had noted – I even told some people. But those whom I disembarked today I saw very distinctly. They were of a middle age, neither young children nor elderly people, with only a few rare exceptions, and this quite corresponded to what I expected. I decided not to say anything, not to give any names. As I did not stay until the end, it would be impossible for me to draw an exact picture, for it was neither absolutely clear nor complete. I do not want to say things to some and not say them to others.

What I can say is that the criterion or the judgment was based EXCLUSIVELY on the substance constituting the people – whether they belonged completely to the supramental world or not, whether they were made of this very special substance. The


criterion adopted was neither moral nor psychological. It is likely that their bodily substance was the result of an inner law or an inner movement which, at that time, was not in question. At least it is quite clear that the values are different.

When I came back, along with the memory of the experience, I knew that the supramental world was permanent, that my presence there is permanent, and that only a missing link is needed to allow the consciousness and the substance to connect – and it is this link that is being built. At that time, my impression (an impression which remained rather long, almost the whole day) was of an extreme relativity – no, not exactly that, but an impression that the relationship between this world and the other completely changes the criterion by which things are to be evaluated or judged. This criterion had nothing mental about it, and it gave the strange inner feeling that so many things we consider good or bad are not really so. It was very clear that everything depended upon the capacity of things and upon their ability to express the supramental world or be in relationship with it. It was so completely different, at times even so opposite to our ordinary way of looking at things! I recall one little thing that we usually consider bad ... actually how funny it was to see that it is something excellent! And other things that we consider important were really quite unimportant there! Whether it was like this or like that made no difference. What is very obvious is that our appreciation of what is divine or not divine is incorrect. I even laughed at certain things ... Our usual feeling about what is anti-divine seems artificial, based upon something untrue, unliving (besides, what we call life here appeared lifeless in comparison with that world); in any event, this feeling should be based upon our relationship between the two worlds and according to whether things make this relationship easier or more difficult. This would thus completely change our evaluation of what brings us nearer to the Divine or what takes us away from Him. With people, too, I saw that what helps them or prevents them from becoming supramental is very different from what our ordinary moral notions imagine. I felt just how ... ridiculous we are.

(Then Mother speaks to the children)

There is a continuation to all this, which is like the result in my consciousness of the experience of February 3, but it seems


premature to read it now. It will appear in the April issue [of the Bulletin], as a sequel to this.

But one thing – and I wish to stress this point to you – which now seems to me to be the most essential difference between our world and the supramental world (and it is only after having gone there consciously, with the consciousness that ordinarily works here, that this difference appeared to me in what might be called its enormity): everything here, except for what happens within and at a very deep level, seemed absolutely artificial to me. Not one of the values of ordinary physical life is based upon truth. Just as we have to buy cloth, sew it together, then put it on our backs in order to dress ourselves, likewise we have to take things from outside and then put them inside our bodies in order to feed ourselves. For everything, our life is artificial.

A true, sincere, spontaneous life, as in the supramental world, is a springing forth of things through the fact of conscious will, a power over substance that shapes this substance according to what we decide it should be. And he who has this power and this knowledge can obtain whatever he wants, whereas he who does not has no artificial means of getting what he desires.

In ordinary life, EVERYTHING is artificial. Depending upon the chance of your birth or circumstances, you have a more or less high position or a more or less comfortable life, not because it is the spontaneous, natural and sincere expression of your way of being and of your inner need, but because the fortuity of life’s circumstances has placed you in contact with these things. An absolutely worthless man may be in a very high position, and a man who might have marvelous capacities of creation and organization may find himself toiling in a quite limited and inferior position, whereas he would be a wholly useful individual if the world were sincere.

It is this artificiality, this insincerity, this complete lack of truth that appeared so shocking to me that ... one wonders how, in a world as false as this one, we can arrive at any truthful evaluation of things.

But instead of feeling grieved, morose, rebellious, discontent, I had rather the feeling of what I spoke of at the end: of such a ridiculous absurdity that for several days I was seized with an uncontrollable laughter whenever I saw things and people! Such a tremendous laughter, so absolutely inexplicable (except to me), because of the ridiculousness of these situations.

When I invited you on a voyage into the unknown, a voyage of


adventure,’ I did not know just how true were my words! And I can promise those who are ready to embark upon this adventure that they will make some very astonishing discoveries.

@

February 1958

(A few days after the experience of February 3, Mother had other experiences that seemed a continuation of it)

Everyone carries with him, in his atmosphere, what Sri Aurobindo calls the ‘Censors’; in a way, they are the permanent delegates of the hostile forces. Their role is to criticize mercilessly each act, each thought, the least movement of the consciousness, and to place you before the most hidden motives of your behavior, to expose the least lower vibration accompanying your apparently purest or highest thoughts or acts.

It is not here a question of morality. These gentlemen are not moralizing agents, although they know very well how to make use of morality! And when they are dealing with a scrupulous conscience, they can harass it pitilessly, whisper to it at every minute, ‘You should not have done this, you should not have done that, you should have done such and such, said such and such; now you have ruined everything, you have made an irreparable mistake, just see how everything is irremediably lost now because of the mistake you made.’ They can even possess the consciousness of some people: you chase the thought away and vrrm! – two minutes later, back it comes! You chase it away again, but there it is still hammering away at you.

1. See Questions and Answers (July lo, 1957).


 

Each time I meet these gentlemen, I give them a hearty welcome, for they force you to be absolutely sincere, they unearth the subtlest hypocrisy and at each moment place you before your most secret vibrations. And they are intelligent, with an intelligence infinitely surpassing our own! They know everything, they know how to set your least thought against you, your least argument or action, with a really wonderful subtlety. Nothing escapes them. But what gives a hostile shading to these beings is that, first and foremost, they are defeatists. They always present you with the darkest side of the picture and if necessary distort your own intentions. They are truly instruments of sincerity. Yet they always overlook one thing, deliberately, something they reject and cast far behind, as if it didn’t exist – the divine Grace. They overlook prayer, this spontaneous prayer that suddenly surges up from the depths of your being like an intense call and makes the Grace descend and changes the course of things.

And each time that you have made some progress or passed to a higher level, they put you back in the presence of all the actions of your past and in a few months, a few days or a few minutes make you pass all the tests again, at a higher level. And it does not help to brush aside the thought, saying, ‘Oh, I know!’ and throw a little cloak over it so as not to see. You have to face and conquer, keep your consciousness filled with light, be unwavering, uncomplaining, without a single vibration in the cells of the body, and then the attack dissolves.

The other day, too, in your supramental experience, you said that moral values had lost all their meaning.

But our conceptions of Good and Evil are so ridiculous! Our ideas of what is near to the Divine or far from the Divine are so absurd! The experience of the other day [February 3] was quite a revelation to me, and I came out of it utterly changed. I suddenly understood a great many things from the past – certain actions parts of my life that had remained inexplicable – in truth, the shortest path from one point to another is not the straight line we imagine!

And the whole time this experience lasted, one hour (an hour of THAT time is long!), I was in an extraordinarily mirthful, almost inebriated state ... The difference between the two consciousnesses is such that when you are in one, the other seems unreal like a dream. When I came back, I was at first struck by the futility of life here; our petty conceptions seem so comical, so laughable ... We say that certain people are mad, but their madness is perhaps a great wisdom from the supramental point of view, and their behavior is perhaps very near the truth of things – I am not speaking of the obscure insane who have had some brain disorder, but of many other incomprehensible mad


people, the luminous mad: they have wanted to leap across the border too quickly, and the rest did not follow.

When one looks at the world of men from the supramental consciousness, the dominant characteristic is a feeling of oddity, of artificiality – a world that is absurd because it is artificial. This world is false because its material appearance does not at all express the profound truth of things. There is as if a discrepancy between the appearance and what lies within. Thus, a man with a divine power deep within him may, on the outer plane, find himself in the situation of a slave. It’s preposterous! Whereas in the supramental world, the will acts directly upon the substance, and the substance is obedient to this will. When you want to clothe yourself, the substance you are living in immediately assumes the form of clothing to cover you. When you want to move from one place to another, your will is sufficient to carry you without your needing any kind of vehicle or artificial means. Thus, for example, the ship in my experience had no need of any mechanism whatsoever in order to move; it was the will that shaped the substance according to its needs. When it was necessary to disembark, the wharf formed by itself. When I wanted the groups to go ashore, those who had to do so automatically knew it, without my having to say a word, and they came in the right order. Everything took place in silence, there was no need to speak to be understood; but aboard the ship, the silence itself did not give this artificial impression it gives here. Here, when we want silence, we have to keep our mouths shut: silence is the opposite of noise. There, the silence was vibrant, living, active and comprehensive, comprehensible.

The absurdity here consists of all the artificial means that have to be used. Any imbecile has more power if he has more means by which to acquire the necessary artifice. Whereas in the supramental world, the more one is conscious and in contact with the truth of things, the more authority has the will over the substance. The authority is a true authority. If you want clothes, you have to have the power to make them, a real power. If you do not have this power, well then, you remain naked. There are no artificial means to compensate for this lack of power. Here, not once in a million times is authority the expression of something true. Everything is colossally stupid.

When I came back down (‘came back down’ is a manner of speaking, for it is neither high nor low, nor within nor without, it is ... somewhere), it took me a while to readjust. I even recall


having said to someone, ‘Now we are going to regress into our usual stupidity.’ But I understood a lot of things, and I came back from there with a decisive force. Now I know that our way of seeing things here, our petty moral values, have nothing to do with the values of the supramental world.

@

Undated 1958

For me, the subtle physical is far more real than this distorted world, but to see it you have to be conscious there, whereas people want to get effects which give them the impression of the marvelous and the miraculous and they want the subtle physical to become visible in the material world IN SPITE OF the falsehood. What makes the great difference for the ordinary physical consciousness is this: it wants to come into contact with that in spite of the falsehood, whereas the universal law is, get out of the falsehood and that will become true for you.

For me, this subtle world is far more real than the material world – much truer, much more tangible, concrete, real – but for others in this material world to believe in the subtle worlds, either they must have some beginning of experience, or else they must agree to have confidence and say, ‘All right, they say it’s like that, therefore it must be like that.’ Otherwise, to be convinced they want the truth to manifest in a world of falsehood in spite of the falsehood. Their attitude is like this: ‘We are willing to admit that it is possible, that it is real, but as long as it has not manifested here, we do not quite believe in it.’

Are you referring to the supramental world?

It applies to everything: every true thing in the world, including all the fairy tale miracles. Things that appear miraculous to the physical consciousness happen in an altogether different way, but to it they are indeed miraculous since they don’t depend on any physical processes. As I have said,’ to travel from one place to another there is no need for any means of transport, to feed ourselves it is not necessary to put external things into the body, to dress ourselves we have no need to put on clothes, etc ... . The play of forces is the spontaneous expression of Truth and of the true Will, the true vision.

1. Experience of the ‘Supramental Ship.’


 

The question remains: for those who have seen and to whom things have happened in this way (like the little child, for example, who was playing with fairies), is it that they enter into this consciousness and then remember when they leave it, or is it that this state really manifests here? For me, this is still a question.

As this experience often happens to people with a simple heart and mind, quite possibly they don’t realize that for a while they have lived in another consciousness and in another world and then have come back to an ordinary condition where they remember the other thing. For them, they do not see the difference.

@

February 15, 1958

Last night, I had the vision of what this supramental world could become if men were not sufficiently prepared. The confusion existing at present upon earth is nothing in comparison to what could take place. Imagine that every powerful will has the power to transform matter as it likes! If the sense of collective oneness did not grow in proportion to the development of power, the resulting conflict would be yet more acute and chaotic than our material conflicts.


 

@

February 25, 1958

(On suffering)

These surface things are not dramatic. More and more, they seem to me like soap bubbles, especially since February 3.

Some people come to see me in utter despair, in tears, in what they call terrible moral suffering; when I see them like that I slightly shift the needle in that part of my consciousness containing all of you, and when they leave, they are completely relieved. It is just like a compass needle – I slightly shift the needle in my consciousness, and it’s over. Naturally, through habit, it returns later on. But these are mere soap bubbles.

I too have known suffering, but there was always a part of me that knew how to hold itself back and remain aloof.

The only thing in the world that still appears intolerable to me now is all physical deterioration, physical suffering, the ugliness the powerlessness to express this capacity of beauty inherent in every being. But this, too, will be conquered one day. Here, too the power will come one day to shift the needle a little. Only, one has to climb higher in consciousness: the deeper into matter you want to descend, the higher must you ascend in consciousness.

It will take time. Sri Aurobindo was surely right when he spoke of a few centuries.

@

February 1958

Yesterday morning, while reading a letter from A.H., I understood the Christian symbolism. It could be that some people understand ... Anyway, I suddenly understood ... It is extremely metaphysical. I followed the idea from a metaphysical point of view, along the lines of what we were saying yesterday: this ‘error’ committed that allowed the world to become what it is. But


at the extreme limit, there always remains the question, ‘How is it possible?’ I was no longer seeing this with the mind.

I came to the conclusion that from a practical standpoint, the solution is that the part of humanity expressing this Error in its life and its consciousness should ... or to put it another way, that part of humanity, of the human consciousness, capable of uniting with the Supermind and of liberating itself, will be completely transformed. This humanity is moving towards a future reality not yet expressed in its outer form. Whereas the part of humanity nearer to the simplicity of the animal or of Nature will be reabsorbed by Nature and entirely reassimilated. The possibility of a mental consciousness that allows for perversion – that makes mental perversion such an excruciating thing – will be abolished. It will disappear. These things will no longer be.

In the vision, I went much deeper into this thought. I saw all the stages, but I no longer see them now. I can no longer explain – there was suddenly a vision that understood the idea of atonement and redemption. It was not formulated in words. Also, the idea that only an act of faith in a divine intervention could ... was the means of salvation. This was the idea of salvation. I understood Christ and faith in Christ. I understood it, and it did not apply uniquely to Christianity or to original sin. I understood what original sin and redemption through faith in Christ meant.

@

March 7, 1958

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Kataragama, March 7, 1958

Sweet Mother,

Since my departure, I have been feeling your Force continually, almost constantly. And I feel an infinite gratitude that you are there, and that this thread from you to me keeps me anchored to something in this world. Simply knowing that you exist, that you are there, that I have a goal, a center – fills me with infinite gratitude. On a street in Madras, the day after I left, I suddenly


had a poignant experience: I felt that if ‘that’ were not in me, I would fall to pieces on the sidewalk, I would crumble, nothing would be left, nothing. And this experience remains. Like a litany, something keeps repeating almost incessantly, ‘I need you, need you, I have only you, you alone in the world. You are all my present, all my future, I have only you ...’ Mother, I am living in a state of need, like hunger.

On the way, I stopped at J and E’s place. They are living like native fishermen, in loincloths, in a coconut grove by the sea. The place is exceedingly beautiful, and the sea full of rainbow-hued coral. And suddenly, within twenty-four hours, I realized an old dream – or rather, I ‘purged’ myself of an old and tenacious dream: that of living on a Pacific island as a simple fisherman. And all at once, I saw, in a flash, that this kind of life totally lacks a center. You ‘float’ in a nowhere. It plunges you into some kind of higher inertia, an illumined inertia, and you lose all true substance.

As for me, I am totally out of my element in this new life, as though I were uprooted from myself. I am living in the temple, in the midst of pujas,’ with white ashes on my forehead, barefoot dressed like a Hindu, sleeping on cement at night, eating impossible curries, with some good sunburns to complete the cooking. And there I am, clinging to you, for if you were not there I would collapse, so absurd would it all be. You are the only reality – how many times have I repeated this to myself, like a litany! Apart from this, I am holding up quite well physically. But inside and outside, nothing is left but you. I need you, that’s all. Mother, this world is so horrifyingly empty. I really feel that I would evaporate if you weren’t there. Well, no doubt I had to go through this experience ... Perhaps I will be able to extract some book from it that will be of use to you. We are like children who need a lot of pictures in order to understand, and a few good kicks to realize our complete stupidity.

Swami must soon take to the road again, through Ceylon, towards March 20 or 25. So I shall go wandering with him until May; towards the beginning of May, he will return to India. I hope to have learned my lesson by then, and to have learned it well. Inwardly, I have understood that there is only you – but it’s these problem children on the surface who must be made to toe the line once and for all.

Sweet Mother, I am in a hurry to work for you. Will you still want me? Mother, I need you, I need you. I would like to ask you an absurd question: Do you think of me? I have only you, you alone in the world.

1. Puja: Hindu temple ceremony.


 

Your child,

Signed: Satprem

***

(Mother’s reply)

March 11, 58

My dear child

It is good, very good – in truth, everything is taking place as expected, as the best expected. And I am so happy for this.

To your question, I reply: I do not think of you, I feel you; you are with me, I am with you, in the light ...

Your place has remained vacant here; you alone can fill it, and it awaits your return, when the moment comes.

... ... ... ...

As soon as the ‘problem children’ on the surface will also have learned their lesson, you have only to let me know of the date of your return and you will be welcome.

With you always and everywhere.

Signed: Mother

@

April 3, 1958

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Kataragama, April 3, 1958

Sweet Mother,

I was waiting for things to be well established in me before writing you again. An important change has occurred: it seems that something in me has ‘clicked’ – what Sri Aurobindo calls the ‘central will,’ perhaps – and I am living literally in the obsession of divine realization. This is what I want, nothing else, it is the only goal in life, and at last I have understood (not with the head) that the outer realization in the world will be the consequence of


the inner realization. So thousands of times a day, I repeat, ‘Mother, I want to be your instrument, ever more conscious, I want to express your truth, your light. I want to be what you want, as you want, when you want.’ There is in me now a kind of need for perfection, a will to abolish this ego, a real understanding that to become your instrument means at the same time to find the perfect plenitude of one’s personality. So I am living in an almost constant state of aspiration, I feel your force constantly, or nearly so, and if I am ‘distracted’ a few minutes, I experience a void, an uneasiness that calls me back to you.

And at the same time, I saw that it is you who is doing everything, you who aspires in me, you who wants the progress, and that all ‘I’ myself am in this affair is a screen, a resisting obstacle. O Mother, break this screen that I may be wholly transparent before you, that your transforming force may purify all the secret recesses in my being, that nothing may remain but you and you alone. O Mother, may all my being be a living expression of your light, your truth.

Mother, from the depths of my being, I offer you a sole prayer: may I become your more and more perfect instrument, a sword of light in your hands. Oh, to get out of this ego that belittles everything, diminishes everything, to emerge from it! All is falsehood in it.

And I, who understood nothing of love, am beginning to suspect who Satprem is. Mother, your grace is infinite, it has accompanied me everywhere in my life.

We are still in Kataragama, and we shall only go up to northern Ceylon, to Jaffna, around the 15th, then return to India towards the beginning of May if the visa problems are settled. Only in India, at the temple of Rameswaram, can I receive the orange robe. I am living here as a sannyasi, but dressed in white, like a Hindu. It is a stark life, nothing more. I have seen however, that truth does not lie in starkness but in a change of consciousness. (Desire always finds a means to entrench itself in very small details and in very petty and stupid, though well-rooted, avidities.)

Mother, I am seeing all the mean pettiness that obstructs your divine work. Destroy my smallness and take me unto you. May I be sincere, integrally sincere.

With infinite gratitude, I am your child.

Signed: Satprem


 

P.S. My system is not in perfect condition due to this absurdly spiced food, and the river water that is used for everything.

(Mother’s reply)

Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 4.10.58

My dear child,

It is with great joy that I shall receive you when you return in May.

We have a lot of work to do together, because I have kept everything for your return.

I am trying to be near you as MATERIALLY as possible in order to help your body victoriously pass through the test.

I want it to come out of this tempered forever, above all attacks.

May the joy of luminous love be with you.

Until we meet,

Signed: Mother

@

Undated 1958

(Concerning one of her commentaries on the Dhammapada, in the chapter ‘The Thousand,’ Mother remarks:)

All this seems quite dogmatic.

Each time, only ONE aspect of the question is considered, whereas to be truly accurate, EVERYTHING would have to be said. It should be emphasized that this is only ONE point of view and that there are also all the others. But people ... that swamps them! They don’t like it, they are happier when they can cling to something solid.


 

@

May 1, 1958

These days I am having every possible experience in the body, one after the other. Yesterday and this morning ... oh, this morning!

I saw there (center of the heart) the Master of the Yoga; he was no different from me, but nevertheless I saw him, and he even seemed slightly imbued with color. Well, he does everything, he decides everything, he organizes everything with an almost mathematical precision and in the smallest details – everything.

To do the divine Will – I have been doing the sadhana for a long time, and I can say that not a day has passed that I have not done the Divine’s Will. But I didn’t know what it was! I was living in all the inner realms, from the subtle physical to the highest regions, yet I didn’t know what it was ... I always had to listen, to refer things, to pay attention. Now, no more – bliss! There are no more problems, and everything is done in such harmony! Even if I had to leave my body, I would be in bliss! And it would happen in the best possible way.

Only now am I beginning to understand what Sri Aurobindo has written in The Synthesis of Yoga! And the human mind, the physical mind, appears so stupid, so stupid!

May 10, 1958

This morning, I suddenly looked at my body (usually, I don’t look at it – I am inside it, working), I looked at my body and said to myself, ‘Let’s see, what would a witness say about this body?’ – the witness Sri Aurobindo speaks of in The Synthesis of Yoga. Nothing very remarkable. So I formulated it like this (Mother reads a written note):

‘This body has neither the uncontested authority of a god nor the imperturbable calm of the sage.’

So, what then?


 

‘It is as yet only an apprentice in supermanhood.’

That is all it is trying to be.

I saw and understood very well that by concentrating, I could have given it the attitude of the absolute authority of the eternal Mother. When Sri Aurobindo told me, ‘You are She,’ at the same time he bestowed upon my body this attitude of absolute authority. But as I had the inner vision of this truth, I concerned myself very little with the imperfections of the physical body – I didn’t bother about that, I only used it as an instrument. Sri Aurobindo did the sadhana for this body, which had only to remain constantly open to his action.’

Afterwards, when he left and I had to do the Yoga myself, to be able to take his physical place, I could have adopted the attitude of the sage, which is what I did since I was in an unparalleled state of calm when he left. As he left his body and entered into mine, he told me, ‘You will continue, you will go right to the end of the work.’ It was then that I imposed a calm upon this body – the calm of total detachment. And I could have remained like that.

But in a way, absolute calm implies withdrawal from action, so a choice had to be made between one or the other. I said to myself, ‘I am neither exclusively this nor exclusively that.’ And actually, to do Sri Aurobindo’s work is to realize the Supramental on earth. So I began that work and, as a matter of fact, this was the only thing I asked of my body. I told it, ‘Now you shall set right everything which is out of order and gradually realize this intermediate supermanhood between man and the supramental being or, in other words, what I call the superman.’

And this is what I have been doing for the last eight years, and even much more during the past two years, since 1956. Now it is the work of each day, each minute.

That’s where I am. I have renounced the uncontested authority of a god, I have renounced the unshakable calm of the sage ... in order to become the superman. I have concentrated everything upon that.

We shall see.

I am learning to work. I am only an apprentice, simply an apprentice – I am learning the trade!

***

1. This last sentence was later added by Mother in writing.


 

(Soon afterwards)

In a considerable number of people, it is their body, the physical body, that obstinately resists.

The difficulty is greater for Westerners than for Indians. It’s as though their substance were steeped in falsehood. It also happens with Indians, of course, but generally the falsehood is much more in the vital than in the physical – because after all, the physical has been utilized by bodies belonging to enlightened beings. The European substance seems steeped in rebellion; in the Indian substance this rebelliousness is subdued by an influence of surrender. The other day, someone was telling me about some Europeans with whom he corresponds, and I said, ‘But tell them to read, to learn, to follow The Synthesis of Yoga! – it leads you straight to the path.’ Whereupon he replied, ‘Oh, but they say it’s full of talk on surrender, surrender, always surrender ...’ and they want none of it.

They want none of it! Even if the mind accepts, the body and the vital refuse. And when the body refuses, it refuses with the stubbornness of a stone.

Is it not due to the body’s unconsciousness?

No. From the minute it is conscious, it is conscious of its own falsehood! It is conscious of this law, of that law, of this third law that fourth law, this tenth law – everything is a ‘law.’ ‘We are subject to physical laws: this will produce such and such a result if you do that, this will happen, etc.’ Oh! It reeks! I know it well. I know it very well. These laws reek of falsehood. In the body, we have no faith in the divine Grace, none, none, none, none! Those who have not undergone a tapasya’ as I have, say, ‘Yes, all these inner moral things, feelings, psychology, all that is very good; we want the Divine and we are ready to ... But all the same, material facts are material facts, they have their concrete reality, after all an illness is an illness, food is food, and everything you do has a consequence, and when you are ...’ – bah, bah, bah, bah, bah!

We must understand that this isn’t true – it isn’t true, it’s a falsehood, all this is sheer falsehood. It is NOT TRUE, it is not true!

If only we would accept the Supreme inside our bodies, if we had the experience I had a few days ago2: the supreme Knowledge in action along with the complete abolition of all consequences, past and future. Each second has its own eternity and its own law, which is a law of absolute truth.

1. Tapasya: yogic discipline or askesis.

2. May 1, 1958.


 

When I had this experience, I understood that only a month ago I was still uttering mountain-sized imbecilities. And I laughed to the point of almost approving those who say, ‘But all the same, the Supreme does not decide the number of sugar cubes you put in your coffee! That would be to project your own way of being onto the Supreme.’ But this is an Himalayan imbecility! It is a stupidity, the mind’s pretentious stupidity projecting itself onto the divine life and imagining that the divine life conforms to its own projection.

The Supreme does not decide: He knows. The Supreme does not want: He sees. And it is so for each thousandth of a second, eternally. That’s all. And it is the only true condition.

I know that the experience I had the other day is new and that I was the first person on earth to have it. But it is the only thing that is true. All the rest ...

I began my sadhana at birth, without knowing that I was doing it. I have continued it throughout my whole life, which means for almost eighty years (even though for perhaps the first three or four years of my life it was only something stirring about in unconsciousness). But I began a deliberate, conscious sadhana at about the age of twenty-two or twenty-three, upon prepared ground. I am now more than eighty years old: I have thought of nothing but that, I have wanted nothing but that, I had no other interest in life, and not for a single minute have I ever forgotten that it was THAT that I wanted. There were not periods of remembering and forgetting: it was continuous, unceasing, day and night, from the age of twenty-four – and I had this experience for the first time about a week ago! So, I say that people who are in a hurry, people who are impatient, are arrogant fools.

... It is a hard path. I try to make it as comfortable as possible, but nevertheless, it is a hard path. And it is obvious that it cannot be otherwise. You are beaten and battered until you understand. Until you are in that state in which all bodies are your body. But at that point, you begin to laugh! You were upset by this, hurt by that, you suffered from this or that – but now, how laughable it all seems! And not only the head, but the body too finds it laughable!

(silence)

... but it is so deeply rooted: all the reactions of the


body-consciousness are like that, with a kind of shrinking at the idea of allowing a higher power to intervene.

(silence)

From the positive point of view, I am convinced that we agree upon the result to be obtained, that is, an integral and unreserved consecration – in love, knowledge and action – to the Supreme AND TO HIS WORK. I say to the Supreme and to his work because consecration to the Supreme alone is not enough. Now we are here for the supramental realization, this is what is expected of us, but to reach it, our consecration to it must be total, unreserved absolutely integral. I believe you have understood this – in other words, that you have the will to realize it.

From the negative point of view – I mean the difficulties to be overcome – one of the most serious obstacles is that the ignorant and falsifying outer consciousness, the ordinary consciousness legitimizes all the so-called physical laws, causes, effects and consequences, all that science has discovered physically and materially. All this is an unquestionable reality to the consciousness, a reality that remains independent and absolute even in the face of the eternal divine Reality.

And it is so automatic that it is unconscious.

When it is a question of movements like anger, desire, etc., you recognize that they are wrong and must disappear, but when material laws are in question – laws of the body, for example, its needs, its health, its nourishment, all those things – they have such a solid, compact, established and concrete reality that it appears absolutely unquestionable.

Well, to be able to cure that, which of all the obstacles is the greatest (I mean the habit of putting spiritual life on one side and material life on the other, of acknowledging the right of material laws to exist), one must make a resolution never to legitimize any of these movements, at any cost.

To be able to see the problem as it is, it is absolutely indispensable, as a first step, to get out of the mental consciousness, even out of a mental transcription (in the highest mind) of the supramental vision and truth. A thing cannot be seen as it is, in its truth, except in the supramental consciousness, and if you try to explain, it immediately begins to escape you because you are obliged to give it a mental formulation.

As for me, I saw the thing only at the time of this experience,’ and as a result of this experience. But it is impossible to formulate even the experience itself, and as soon as I endeavored to formulate it and the more I was able to formulate it, the more the thing faded, escaped.

1. May 1, 1958.


 

Consequently, if you do not remember having had the experience, you are left in the same condition as before, but with the difference that now you know, you can know, that these material laws do not correspond to the truth – that’s all. They do not at all correspond to the truth, so consequently, if you want to be faithful to your aspiration, you must in no way legitimize all that. Rather, you must say that it is an infirmity from which we are suffering for the moment, for an intermediate period – it is an infirmity and an ignorance – for it really is an ignorance (this is not just a word): it is ignorance, it is not the thing as it is, even in regard to our present material bodies. Therefore, we will not legitimize anything. What we say is this – it is an infirmity which has to be endured for the time being, until we get out of it, but we do NOT ACKNOWLEDGE all this as a concrete reality. It does NOT have a concrete reality, it has a false reality – what we call concrete reality is a false reality.

And the proof – I have the proof because I experienced it myself – is that from the minute you are in the other consciousness, the true consciousness, all these things which appear so real, so concrete, change INSTANTLY. There are a number of things, certain material conditions of my body – material – that changed instantly. It did not last long enough for everything to change, but some things changed and never returned, they remained changed. In other words, if that consciousness were kept constantly, it would be a perpetual miracle (what we would call a miracle from our ordinary point of view), a fantastic and perpetual miracle! But from the supramental point of view, it would not be a miracle at all, it would be the most normal of things.

Therefore, if we do not want to oppose the supramental action by an obscure, inert and obstinate resistance, we have to admit once and for all that none of these things should be legitimized.


 

@

May 11, 1958

One of the things that most gives me the feeling of the miraculous is when these obscure throngs’ – really tamasic[2] beings, in fact, with children crying, people coughing – when all that is gathered there, and then suddenly ... silence.

Each time that happens, I have truly the feeling of a miracle! I immediately say, ‘Oh, Lord! Your Grace is infinite!’

***

Something quite curious took place during a recent meditation. I no longer recall when exactly, but it was at a time when there were many visitors, for the courtyard was full. After perhaps no more than a few minutes, I suddenly heard a distinct voice, coming from my right, say ‘OM,’ like that. And then a second time, ‘OM.’ What an impact it had upon me! I felt an emotion here (gesture towards the heart) as I have not felt for years and years and years. And all, all, all was filled with light, with force – it was absolutely marvelous. It was an invocation, and during the whole meditation the Presence was resplendent.

I said to myself, ‘Who could have done that?’ I was not sure if only I had heard it, so I asked. The reply was, ‘But it was the ship leaving!’ There was actually a ship which had left during the night3 – that is in support of those who said it was a ship. But for me, it was SOMEONE because I felt someone there and I thought, Oh! If someone, in the ardor of his soul, said that in this ... what I could call an atheistic silence. Because people here are so afraid of following tradition, of being the slaves of the old things, that they cast out anything closely or remotely resembling religion.

It was very strange, because my first reaction was one of bewilderment: how is it that someone ... I was really bewildered for a fraction, not even the fraction of a second. And then ...

I. Mother is referring to her “Darshan,” when four times a year She appeared on her balcony high above the assembled mass of disciples and visitors on the street below. The “darshan days” were February 21, April 24, August 15 and November 24.

2.

3. The waters off Pondicherry occasionally serve as a port.


 

In any event, if it wasn’t a man, if it was a ship, then the ship said it! Because it was THAT – it was that, it was nothing other than an invocation. And the result was fantastic!

People immediately thought, ‘Oh, it’s the ship!’ Well, even if it was a ship, it was the ship that said OM!

And then I wondered, ‘If we were to repeat the mantra we heard the other day’ (Om Namo Bhagavateh ... ) during the half-hour meditation, what would happen?’

What would happen?

And these things act upon my body. It is strange, but it coagulates something: all the cellular life becomes one solid, compact mass, in a tremendous concentration – with a single vibration. Instead of all the usual vibrations of the body, there is now only one single vibration. It becomes as hard as a diamond, a single massive concentration, as if all the cells of the body had ...

I became stiff from it. When the forest scene2 was over, I was so stiff that I was like that (gesture): one single mass.

May 17, 1958

Actually, when I myself am perfect, I believe that all the rest will become perfect automatically. But it does not seem possible to become perfect without there being a beginning of realization from the other side. So it proceeds like that, bumping from one side to the other, and we go stumbling along like a drunken man!

@

I. During an Indian film on Dhruva in which this manna was chanted for a long time. This film was shown at the Ashram Playground on April 29, 1958.

2. In the same film.


 

@

May 30, 1958

(On Hostile Forces)

I have noticed that in at least ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, it is an excuse people give to themselves. I have seen that practically, in the case of almost all the people who write to me saying, ‘I am being violently attacked by hostile forces,’ it’s an excuse they are giving. It means that certain things in their nature do not want to yield, so they put all the blame on the hostile forces.

As a matter of fact, my tendency is more and more towards something in which the role of these hostile forces will be reduced to that of an examiner – which means that they are there to test the sincerity of your spiritual quest. These elements have a reality in their action and for the work – this is their great reality – but when you go beyond a certain region, it all grows dim to such a degree that it is no longer so well defined, so distinct. In the occult world, or rather if you look at the world from the occult point of view, these hostile forces are very real, their action is very real, quite concrete, and their attitude towards the divine realization is positively hostile; but as soon as you go beyond this region and enter into the spiritual world where there is no longer anything but the Divine in all things, and where there is nothing undivine, then these ‘hostile forces’ become part of the total play and can no longer be called ‘hostile forces’: it is only an attitude that they have adopted – or more precisely, it is only an attitude adopted by the Divine in his play.

This again belongs to the dualities that Sri Aurobindo speaks of in The Synthesis of Yoga, these dualities that are being reabsorbed. I don’t know if he spoke of this particular one; I don’t think so, but it’s the same thing. It’s again a certain way of seeing. He has written of the Personal-Impersonal duality, Ishwara-Shakti, Purusha-Prakriti ... but there is still one more: Divine and anti-divine.


 

@

June 6, 1958

It’s all the same thing, but the word realization can be reserved for something that is durable, that does not wear off. Because everything on earth fades away – everything fades away, nothing remains. In this sense, there has never been any realization, for everything fades away. Nothing is ever permanent. And I know for myself: I am doing the sadhana at a gallop, as it were; never are two experiences identical nor do they recur in the same way. As soon as something is established, the next thing begins immediately. It may appear to fade away, but it doesn’t fade away; rather, it is the basis upon which the next thing is built.

***

This morning while I was on the balcony, I had an interesting experience: the experience of man’s effort, in all its forms and through all the ages, to approach the Divine. And I seemed to be growing wider and wider so that all the forms and all the ways of approaching the Divine attempted by man would be contained in the present Work.

It was represented by a kind of image in which I was as vast as the Universe, and each way of approaching the Divine was like a tiny image containing the characteristic form of this approach. And my impression was this: Why do people always limit, limit themselves? Narrow, narrow, narrow! They understand only when it is narrow.

Take all! Take all within you. And then you will begin to understand – you will begin.

***

It was in 1910 that I had this sort of reversal of consciousness about which I spoke the other evening – that is, the first contact with the higher Divine – and it completely changed my life.

From that moment on, I was conscious that all one does is the expression of the indwelling Divine Will. But it is the Divine Will AT THE VERY CENTER of oneself, although for a while there remained an activity in the physical mind. But this was stilled two or three days after I saw Sri Aurobindo for the first time in 1914,


and it never started up again. Silence settled. And the consciousness was established above the head.

In the first experience [of 1910], the consciousness was established in the psychic depths of the being, and from that poise issued the feeling of no longer doing anything but what the Divine wanted – it was the consciousness that the divine Will was all-powerful and that there was no longer any personal will, although there was still some mental activity and everything had to be made silent. In 1914, it was silenced, and the consciousness was established above the head. Here (the heart) and here (above the head), the connection is constant.

Does one exclude the other?

They exist simultaneously; it’s the same thing. When you start becoming truly conscious, you realize that it depends upon the kinds of activities you have to do. When you do a certain kind of work, it is in the heart that the Force gathers to radiate outwards, and when you do another kind of work, it is above the head that the Force concentrates to radiate outwards, but the two are not separate: the center of activity is here or there depending upon what you have to do.

As for the latest experience,’ I can’t say for sure that no one has ever had it, because someone like Ramakrishna, individuals like that, could have had it. But I am not sure, for when I had this experience (not of the divine Presence, which I had already felt in the cells for a long time, but the experience that the Divine ALONE is acting in the body, that He has BECOME the body, yet all the while retaining his character of divine omniscience and omnipotence) well, the whole time it remained actively like that, it was absolutely impossible to have the LEAST disorder in the body, and not only in the body, but IN ALL THE SURROUNDING MATTER. It was as if every object obeyed without even needing to decide to obey: it was automatic. There was a divine harmony in EVERYTHING (it took place in my bathroom upstairs, certainly to demonstrate that it exists in the most trivial things), in everything, constantly. So if that is established in a permanent way, there CAN NO LONGER be illness it is impossible. There can no longer be accidents, there can no longer be illness, there can no longer be disorders, and everything should harmonize (probably in a progressive way) just as that was harmonized: all the objects in the bathroom were full of a joyful enthusiasm – everything obeyed, everything!

1. May 1, 1958.


 

As it was the first experience, it started to fade slightly when I began having contact with people; but I really had the feeling that it was a first experience, new upon earth. For I have experienced an absolute identity of the will with the divine Will ever since 1910, it has never left me. It isn’t that, it’s SOMETHING ELSE. It is MATTER BECOMING THE DIVINE. And it really came with the feeling that this thing was happening for the first time upon earth. It is difficult to say for sure, but Ramakrishna died of cancer, and now that I have had the experience, I know in an ABSOLUTE way that this is impossible. If he had decided to go because the Divine wanted him to go, it would have been an orderly departure, in total harmony and with a total will, whereas this illness is a means of disorder.

Is this experience of May 1 related to the Supramental Manifestation of 1956? Is it a supramental experience?

It is the result of the descent of the supramental substance into Matter. Only this substance – what it has put into physical Matter – could have made it possible. It is a new ferment. From the material standpoint, it removes from physical Matter its tamas, the heaviness of its unconsciousness, and from the psychological standpoint, its ignorance and its falsehood. Matter is subtilized. But it has surely come only as a first experience to show how it will be.

It is truly a state of absolute omniscience and omnipotence in the body which changes all the vibrations around it.

It is likely that the greatest resistance will be in the most conscious beings due to a lack of mental receptivity, due to the mind itself which wants things to continue (as Sri Aurobindo has written) according to its own mode of ignorance. So-called inert matter is much more easily responsive, much more – it does not resist. And I am convinced that among plants, for example, or among animals, the response will be much quicker than among men. It will be more difficult to act upon a very organized mind; beings who live in an entirely crystallized, organized mental consciousness are as hard as stone! It resists. According to my experience, what is unconscious will certainly follow more easily. It was a delight to see the water from the tap, the mouthwash in the bottle, the glass, the sponge – it all had such an air of joy and consent! There is much less ego, you see, it is not a conscious ego.


 

The ego becomes more and more conscious and resistant as the being develops. Very primitive, very simple beings, little children will respond first, because they don’t have an organized ego. But these big people! People who have worked on themselves, who have mastered themselves, who are organized, who have an ego made of steel, it will be difficult for them.

Unless they go beyond all this and have enough spiritual knowledge to be able to make the ego surrender ... in which case the realization will naturally be much greater – it will be more difficult to accomplish, but the result will be far more complete.

When you had this experience of February 3, 1958 [the supramental ship], the vision of your usual consciousness, which is nevertheless a Truth Consciousness, no longer seemed true to you at all. Did you see things you had never before seen, or did you see things in another way?

Yes, one enters into another world.

This consciousness here is true in relation to this world as it is, but the other ... is something else entirely. An adjustment is needed for the two to touch, otherwise one jumps from one to the other. And that serves no purpose. A progressive passage has to be built between the two. This means that a whole number of rungs of consciousness are missing. This consciousness here must consciously connect with that consciousness there, which means a multitude of stairs passing from one to the other. Then we will be able to rise up progressively, and the whole will arise.

Its action will be somewhat similar to what is described in the Last Judgment, which is an entirely symbolic expression of something that makes us discern between what belongs to the world of falsehood which is destined to disappear and what belongs to this same world of ignorance and inertia but is transformable. One will go to one side and the other to the other side. All that is transformable will be permeated more and more with this new substance and this new consciousness to such an extent that it will rise towards it and serve as a link between the two but all that belongs incorrigibly to falsehood and ignorance will disappear. This was also prophesied in the Gita: among what we call the hostile or anti-divine forces, those capable of being transformed will be uplifted and go off towards the new consciousness, whereas all that is irrevocably in darkness or belongs to an evil will shall be destroyed and vanish from the Universe. And a whole


part of humanity that has responded to these forces rather too ... zealously will certainly vanish with them. And this is what was expressed in this concept of the Last Judgment.

@

June 1958

(At the time of publishing the following conversation of March 19, 1958, in the Ashram ‘Bulletin,’ Mother added certain commentaries that have a direct bearing upon the preceding conversation about the Last Judgment, and She incorporated an entire passage from the conversation of the end of February 1958 on the same subject.)

One thing seems clear: humanity has reached such a generalized state of tension – tension in effort, tension in action, tension even in daily life – with such an excessive hyperactivity, such an overall restlessness, that the species as a whole seems to have reached a point where it must either burst through the resistance and surge forth into a new consciousness, or else sink back into an abysm of obscurity and inertia.

This tension is so total and so generalized that obviously something must break. It cannot go on like this. Yet all this is a sure sign that a new principle of force, consciousness and power has been infused into matter and by its very pressure has produced this acute state. Outwardly, we might expect to see the old habitual means used by Nature whenever she wants to bring about an upheaval; but here there is a new phenomenon, which is evidently visible only in a select few, although even these few are widespread enough – this phenomenon is not localized in one point or one place in the world, for the signs are to be found in every country all over the earth: the will to find a new, a higher, an ascending solution, an effort to surge forth into a vaster, more encompassing perfection.

Certain ideas of a more general, more extensive, more collective nature, as it were, are being worked out and are at work in the world. And the two go together: a greater and more total possibility of destruction and an inventiveness that unrestrainedly


increases the possibility of catastrophe, a catastrophe that would be much more massive than it has ever been; and at the same time, the birth, or rather the manifestation, of much higher and more comprehensive ideas and wills which, when heard, will bring a vaster, more extensive, more complete and more perfect solution than before.

This struggle, this conflict between the constructive forces of an ascending evolution, of an increasingly perfect and divine realization, and the more and more destructive forces – powerfully destructive, forces of an uncontrollable madness – is becoming more obvious, unmistakably visible, and it is a kind of race or battle as to which will be first to reach its goal. All the hostile, anti-divine forces, these forces of the vital world, seem to have descended upon earth and are using it as their field of action; and at the same time, a new, higher, more powerful spiritual force has also descended upon earth to bring a new life to it. This renders the battle more bitter, violent and visible, but apparently more decisive, too, which is why we may hope to arrive at an early solution.

There was a time, not so very long ago, when man’s spiritual aspiration was turned towards a silent, inactive peace, detached from all the things of this world, an evasion of life to avoid the struggle, precisely, to rise above the battle, to be liberated from effort. It was a spiritual peace where, along with the cessation of tension, struggle and effort, suffering in all its forms also ceased, and this was considered the true and unique expression of the spiritual and divine life. This is what was considered divine grace, divine succor, divine intervention. And even now, in this age of anguish, tension and hypertension, this sovereign peace is of all help the best received, the most welcome, the relief asked and hoped for. For many, it is still the true sign of divine intervention, of divine grace.

In fact, no matter what you wish to realize, you must begin by establishing this perfect and immutable peace – it is the necessary basis for any work; but unless you are thinking of an exclusive or personal and egoistic liberation, you cannot stop there. There is yet another aspect to the divine grace, the aspect of progress that will be victorious over all obstacles, the aspect that will propel humanity into a new realization, open the doors unto a new world, enable not only a select few to benefit from the divine realization, but through their influence, their example and their power, bring a new and better condition to the rest of humanity.

It opens vistas of realization into the future and already foreseen possibilities through which an entire section of humanity, which


is consciously or unconsciously open to the new forces, will be lifted up, as it were, towards a higher, more harmonious, more perfect life ... and even if individual transformations are not permissible nor possible in all cases, at least there will be a kind of uplifting of the whole, a harmonization of everything, enabling a new order, a new harmony to be established and the anguish of disorder and the present strife to disappear and be replaced by an order that will allow for the harmonious working of the whole.

There will be other consequences that by opposite means will tend to eradicate the perversion and ugliness created in life due to the intervention of the mind, a whole range of deformations that have aggravated suffering, misery, moral poverty, a whole zone of sordid and repugnant miseries that makes an entire portion of human life so hideous. That must disappear. That is what in many respects makes humanity infinitely inferior to animal life, with its simplicity and its natural spontaneity, and which in spite of everything is harmonious. Suffering among animals is never as miserable and sordid as it is in a whole section of humanity perverted by a mentality exclusively turned towards egoistic needs.

One must rise above, surge forth into the Light and the Harmony, or sink back down into the simplicity of a wholesome, unperverted animal life.

(After a moment of silence, Mother adds)

But those who cannot be lifted up, who refuse to progress, will automatically lose the use of the mental consciousness and fall back into an infrahuman stage.

I’ll tell you of an experience I had which will help you better understand. It was a short while after the supramental experience of February 3, and I was still in that state where things of the physical world seemed so remote, so absurd. A group of visitors asked permission to greet me, and they came one evening to the playground. They were rich people – that is, they had more money than they needed to live. Among them was a woman in a saree. She was very fat, and her saree was so arranged as to hide her body. When she bent over to receive my blessings, a corner of her saree fell open, uncovering part of her body, a bare belly. An enormous belly. It came as a shock to me ... There are obese people who are not at all repugnant, but there I suddenly saw the perversion, the rottenness that this abdomen concealed. It was like an enormous abscess expressing greed, vice, depravity of taste, sordid


desire that seeks satisfaction as no animal would, grossly, and above all, perversely. I saw the perversion of a depraved mind placed at the service of the basest appetites. Then, in a flash, something leapt forth from me, a prayer, like a Veda: ‘O Lord, it is this that must vanish!’

One can well understand that physical misery or the unequal distribution of the world’s wealth could be remedied. One can think of economic and social solutions that could remedy all that, but this particular misery, this mental misery, this vital perversion – it is this that cannot change, that does NOT WANT to change. And those who belong to this kind of humanity are condemned in advance to disintegration.

The meaning of original sin is precisely this: the perversion that began with the mind.

That part of humanity, of the human consciousness, which is able to unite with the Supermind and liberate itself will be completely transformed. It is moving towards its future reality as yet unexpressed in the outer form; the part very close to the simplicity of the animal, close to Nature, will be reabsorbed by Nature and thoroughly reassimilated. But that corrupted part of the human consciousness, which through its wrong use of the mind allows this perversion, will be abolished.

That kind of humanity belongs to an unfruitful attempt – and will be eliminated, like so many other abortive species which have vanished in the course of universal history.

Certain prophets in the past had this apocalyptic vision, but as usual things became mixed, and along with their vision of the apocalypse they did not have the vision of the supramental world that will come to uplift the consenting part of humanity and transform this physical world. However, to give hope to those born into this perverted part of the human consciousness, redemption through faith was taught: those who have faith in the sacrifice of the Divine in Matter will automatically be saved, in another world – faith alone, without understanding, without intelligence. They never saw the supramental world, nor did they see that the great Sacrifice of the Divine in Matter is that of an involution which will lead to the total revelation of the Divine in Matter itself.


 

@

June 1958 (?)

We are preparing upon earth the connecting-point, that point of communication and junction between the mental and terrestrial human consciousness and the supramental and superhuman Consciousness. It is a whole intermediate world that is being worked out, a new creation manifesting and materializing.

In order to be realized here upon earth, this creation must utilize the already existing material means and powers, but in a new way, adapted to the new needs. One of the most essential powers is the financial power.

@

June 22, 1958

Do not ask questions about the details of the material existence of this body: they are in themselves of no interest and must not attract attention.

Throughout all this life, knowingly or unknowingly, I have been what the Lord wanted me to be, I have done what the Lord wanted me to do. That alone matters.

July 2, 1958

Ramdas3 must be a continuation of the line of Chaitanya, Ramakrishna, etc ... .

(silence)

1. Note written by Mother.

2. Note written by Mother in English.

3. Ramdas: a yogi from Northwest India who followed the path of love (bhakti). His whole yoga consisted in repeating the name Ram. He founded the Anand-ashram in Kanhargad, Kerala. He was born in 1884 and died in 1963.


 

A subject for this evening ...

Something I have never said completely. On the one hand, there is the attitude of those in yesterday evening’s film’: God is everything, God is everywhere, God is in he who smites you (as Sri Aurobindo wrote – ‘God made me good with a blow, shall I tell Him: O Mighty One, I forgive you your harm and cruelty but do not do it again!’), an attitude which, if extended to its ultimate conclusion, accepts the world as it is: the world is the perfect expression of the divine Will. On the other hand, there is the attitude of progress and transformation. But for that, you must recognize that there are things in the world which are not as they should be.

In The Synthesis of Yoga, Sri Aurobindo says that this idea of good and bad, of pure and impure, is a notion needed for action; but the purists, such as Chaitanya, Ramakrishna and others, do not agree. They do not agree that it is indispensable for action. They simply say: your acceptance of action as a necessary thing is contrary to your perception of the Divine in all things.

How can the two be reconciled?

I recall that once I tried to speak of this, but no one followed me, no one understood, so I did not insist. I left it open and never pursued it further, for they could not decipher anything or find any meaning in what I was saying. But now I could give a very simple answer: Let the Supreme do the work. It is He who has to progress, not you!

Ramdas does not at all consider that the world as it is, is good.

No, but I know all these people, I know them thoroughly! I know Chaitanya, Ramakrishna and Ramdas thoroughly. They are utterly familiar to me. It doesn’t bother them. These are people who live with a certain feeling, who have an entirely concrete experience and live in this experience, but they don’t care at all if their formation – they have not even crystallized it, they leave it like that, vague – contains things that are mutually contradictory, because, in appearance, they reconcile them. They do not raise any questions, they do not have the need for an absolutely clear vision; their feeling is absolutely clear, and that’s enough for them. Ramakrishna was like that; he said the most contradictory things without being bothered in the least, and they are all exactly and equally true.

1. Bishnupriya, a Bengali film.


 

But this crystal clear vision Sri Aurobindo had, where everything is in its place, where contradictions no longer exist – they never soared to that height. This was the thing, this really crystalline, perfect supramental vision, even from the standpoint of understanding and knowledge. They never went that far.

(Soon afterwards)

Each element, let us say each individual element (even though it is not exactly like that), is in its place according to whether the Grace acts on the individual or on the collectivity.

When the Grace acts on the collectivity, each thing, each element, each principle, is put in its place as the result of a karmic logic in the universal movement. This is what gives us the impression of disorder and confusion as we see it.

When the Grace acts on the individual, it gives to each the maximum position according to what he is and what he has realized.

And then, there is a super-grace, as it were, which works in a few exceptional cases, which places you not according to what you are but according to what you are to become, which means that the universal cosmic position is ahead of the individual’s progress.

And it is then that you should keep silent and fall on your knees.

July 5, 1958

I have just explained to Z my program for getting out of the present difficulties,’ and I think if he has not concluded that I am totally mad, it is because he has an immense respect for me! But as always in these cases, there is such a joy in me, such an exultation: all the cells are dancing. I understand why people begin singing, dancing, etc. It takes a formidable power to remain like that (gesture of solidity): there is such a desire in the throat to sing!

***

1. In regard to the Ashram’s financial difficulties.


 

S brought me a photograph (taken on 2.21.58 during the Darshan). A saint with a halo! (Mother laughs mockingly.)

The eyes are nice.

Yes, I remember. It was towards the end of the Darshan and I was repeating within me, ‘Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord ...’ But wordlessly. It came like that (gesture) and went far, far, far, far! It is all here (motion around the head). And that (Mother points to her chin) is determination (but there should have been a little more light on the chin!), the realizing will.

That’s it: the capacity to be an ABSOLUTELY receptive passivity – like that – in TOTAL silence and surrender, and at the same time here, there, an IRREDUCIBLE, OMNIPOTENT will with a total power to effectuate, shattering all resistances. Both simultaneously without one inhibiting the other, in the same joy – that is the GREAT secret! The harmonization of opposites, in joy and plenitude, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, for all problems: that is the great secret.

July 6, 1958

This morning I asked myself the question, ‘is money truly under Nature’s control?’ I shall have to see ... Because for me personally, she always gives everything in abundance.

When I was young, I was as poor as a turkey, as poor as could be! As an artist, I sometimes had to go out in society (as artists are forced to do). I had lacquered boots that were cracked ... and I painted them so it wouldn’t show! This is to tell you the state I was in – poor as a turkey. So one day, in a shop window, I saw a very pretty petticoat much in fashion then, with lace, ribbons, etc. (It was the fashion in those days to have long skirts which trailed on the floor, and I didn’t have a petticoat which could go with such things – I didn’t care, it didn’t matter to me in the least, but since Nature had told me I would always have everything I needed, I wanted to make an experiment.) So I said, ‘Well, I would very much like to have a petticoat to go with those skirts.’ I got five of them! They came from every direction!

And it is always like that. I never ask for anything, but if by chance I say to myself, ‘Hmm, wouldn’t it be nice to have that,’


mountains of them pour in! So last year, I made an experiment, I told Nature, ‘Listen, my little one, you say that you will collaborate, you told me I would never lack anything. Well then, to put it on a level of feelings, it would really be fun, it would give me joy (in the style of Krishna’s joy), to have A LOT of money to do everything I feel like doing. It’s not that I want to increase things for myself, no; you give me more than I need. But to have some fun, to be able to give freely, to do things freely, to spend freely – I am asking you to give me a crore of rupees’ for my birthday!

She didn’t do a thing! Nothing, absolutely nothing: a complete refusal. Did she refuse or was she unable to? It may be that ... I always saw that money was under the control of an asuric force. (I am speaking of currency, ‘cash’; I don’t want to do business. When I try to do business, it generally succeeds very well, but I don’t mean that. I am speaking of cash.) I never asked her that question.

You see, this is how it happened: there’s this Ganesh2 ... We had a meditation (this was more than thirty years ago) in the room where ‘Prosperity’3 is now distributed. There were eight or ten of us, I believe. We used to make sentences with flowers; I arranged the flowers, and each one made a sentence with the different flowers I had put there. And one day when the subject of prosperity or wealth came up, I thought (they always say that Ganesh is the god of money, of fortune, of the world’s wealth), I thought, ‘Isn’t this whole story of the god with an elephant trunk merely a lot of human imagination?’ Thereupon, we meditated. And who should I see walk in and park himself in front of me but a living being, absolutely alive and luminous, with a trunk that long ... and smiling! So then, in my meditation, I said, ‘Ah! So it’s true that you exist!’ – ‘Of course I exist! And you may ask me for whatever you wish, from a monetary standpoint, of course, and I will give it to you!’

So I asked. And for about ten years, it poured in, like this (gesture of torrents). It was incredible. I would ask, and at the next Darshan, or a month or several days later, depending, there it was.

1 About one million dollars.

2. Ganesh: a god with the head of an elephant; the son of Parvati, the Divine Mother.

3. The room where, on the first of each month, Mother distributed to the disciples their needs for the month.


 

Then the war and all the difficulties came, bringing a tremendous increase of people and expenditure (the war cost a fortune – anything at all cost ten times more than before), and suddenly, finished, nothing more. Not exactly nothing, but a thin little trickle. And when I asked, it didn’t come. So one day, I put the question to Ganesh through his image (! ), I asked him, ‘What about your promise?’ – ‘I can’t do it, it’s too much for me; my means are too limited!’ – ‘Ah!’ I said to myself (laughing), ‘What bad luck!’ And I no longer counted on him.

Once someone even asked Santa Claus! A young Muslim girl who had a special liking for ‘Father Christmas’ – I don’t know why, as it was not part of her religion! Without saying a word to me, she called on Santa Claus and told him, ‘Mother doesn’t believe in you; you should give Her a gift to prove to Her that you exist. You can give it to Her for Christmas.’ And it happened! ... She was quite proud.

But it only happened like that once. And as for Ganesh, that was the end of it. So then I asked Nature. It took her a long time to accept to collaborate. But as for the money, I shall have to ask her about it; because for me personally, it is still going on. I think, ‘Hmm, wouldn’t it be nice to have a wristwatch like that.’ And I get twenty of them! I say to myself, ‘Well, if I had that ...’ and I get thirty of them! Things come in from every side, without my even uttering a word – I don’t even ask, they just come.

The first time I came here and spoke with Sri Aurobindo about what was needed for the Work, he told me (he also wrote it to me) that for the secure achievement of the Work we would need three powers: one was the power over health, the second was the power over government, and the third was the power over money.

Health naturally depends upon the sadhana; but even that is not so sure: there are other factors. As for the second, the power over government, Sri Aurobindo looked at it, studied it, considered it very carefully, and finally he told me, ‘There is only one way to have that power: it is TO BE the government. One can influence individuals, one can transmit the will to them, but their hands are tied. In a government, there is no one individual, nor even several who is all-powerful and who can decide things. One must be the government oneself and give it the desired orientation.’

For the last, for money, he told me, ‘I still don’t know exactly what it depends on.’ Then one day I entered into trance with this idea in mind, and after a certain journey I came to a place like a subterranean grotto (which means that it is in the subconscient, or perhaps even in the inconscient) which was the source, the place and the power over money. I was about to enter into this grotto (a


kind of inner cave) when I saw, coiled and upright, an immense serpent, like an all black python, formidable, as big as a seven-story house, who said, ‘You cannot pass!’ – ‘Why not? Let me pass!’ – ‘Myself, I would let you pass, but if I did, “they” would immediately destroy me.’ – ‘Who, then, is this “they”?’ – ‘They are the asuric’ powers who rule over money. They have put me here to guard the entrance, precisely so that you may not enter.’ – ‘And what is it that would give one the power to enter?’ Then he told me something like this: ‘I heard (that is, he himself had no special knowledge, but it was something he had heard from his masters, those who ruled over him), I heard that he who will have a total power over the human sexual impulses (not merely in himself, but a universal power – that is, a power enabling him to control this everywhere, among all men) will have the right to enter.’ In other words, these forces would not be able to prevent him from entering.

A personal realization is very easy, it is nothing at all; a personal realization is one thing, but the power to control it among all men – that is, to control or master such movements at will, everywhere – is quite another. I don’t believe that this ... condition has been fulfilled. If what the serpent said is true and if this is really what will vanquish these hostile forces that rule over money, well then, it has not been fulfilled.

It has been fulfilled to a certain extent – but it’s negligible. It is conditional, limited: in one case, it works; in another, it doesn’t. It is quite problematic. And naturally, where terrestrial things are involved (I don’t say universal, but in any case terrestrial), when it is something involving the earth, it must be complete; there cannot be any approximations.

Therefore, it’s an affair between the asuras and the human species. To transform itself is the only solution left to the human species – in other words, to tear from the asuric forces the power of ruling over the human species.

You see, the human species is a part of Nature, but as Sri Aurobindo has explained, from the moment mind expressed itself in man, it put him into a relationship with Nature very different from the relationship all the lower species have with her. All the lower species right up to man are completely under the rule of Nature; she makes them do whatever she wants, and they can do nothing without her consent. Whereas man begins to act and to live as an equal; not as an equal in terms of power, but from the standpoint of consciousness (he is beginning to do so since he has the capacity to study and to find out Nature’s secrets). He is not superior to her, far from it, but he is on an equal footing. And so he has acquired – this is a fact – he has acquired a certain power of independence that he immediately used to put himself under the influence of the hostile forces, which are not terrestrial but extra-terrestrial.

1. Asuras: the demons or dark forces of the mental plane.


 

I am speaking of terrestrial Nature. Through their mental power, men had the choice and the freedom to make pacts with these extraterrestrial vital forces. There is a whole vital world that has nothing to do with the earth, it is entirely independent or prior to earth’s existence, it is self-existent – well, they have brought that down here! They have made ... what we see! And such being the case ... This is what terrestrial Nature told me: ‘It is beyond my control.’

So considering all that, Sri Aurobindo came to the conclusion that only the supramental power ... (Mother brings down her hands) as he said, will be able to rule over everything. And when that happens, it will be all over – including Nature. For a long time, Nature rebelled (I have written about it often). She used to say, ‘Why are you in such a hurry? It will be done one day.’ But then last year, there was that extraordinary experience.’ And it was because of that experience that I told her, ‘Well, now that we agree, give me some proof; I am asking you for some proof – do it for me.’ She didn’t budge, absolutely nothing.

Perhaps it is a kind of ... it can hardly be called an intuition, but a kind of divination of this idea that made people speak of ‘selling one’s soul to the devil for money,’ of money being an evil force, which produces this shrinking on the part of all those who want to lead a spiritual life – but as for that, they shrink from everything, not only from money!

Perhaps it would not be necessary to have this power over all men, but in any event, it should be great enough to act upon the mass. It is likely that once a certain movement has been mastered to some degree, what the mass does or doesn’t do (this whole human mass that has barely, barely emerged into even the mental consciousness) will become quite irrelevant. You see, the mass is still under the great rule of Nature. I am referring to mental humanity, predominantly mental, which developed the mind but misused it and immediately set out on the wrong path – first thing.

There is nothing to say since the first thing done by the divine forces which emanated for the Creation was to take the wrong path!’ That is the origin, the seed of this marvelous spirit of independence – the negation of surrender, in other words. Man said, ‘I have the power to think; I will do with it what I want, and no one has the right to intervene. I am free, I am an independent being, IN-DE-PEN-DENT! So that’s how things stand: we are all independent beings!

1. The experience of Nature’s collaboration (November 8, 1957).


 

But yesterday, in fact, I was looking (with all these mantras and these prayers and this whole vibration that has descended into the atmosphere, creating a state of constant calling in the atmosphere), and I remembered the old movements and how everything now has changed! I was also thinking of the old disciplines, one of which is to say, ‘I am That.’2 People were told to sit in meditation and repeat, ‘I am That,’ to reach an identification. And it all seemed to me so obsolete, so childish, but at the same time a part of the whole. I looked, and it seemed so absurd to sit in meditation and say, ‘I am That’! ‘I,’ what is this ‘I’ who is That; what is this ‘I,’ where is it? ... I was trying to find it, and I saw a tiny, microscopic point (to see it would almost require some gigantic instrument), a tiny, obscure point in an im-men-sity of Light, and that little point was the body. At the same time – it was absolutely simultaneous – I saw the Presence of the Supreme as a very, very, very, VERY immense Being, within which was ‘I’ in an attitude of ... (‘I’ was only a sensation, you see), an attitude ... (gesture of surrender) like this. There were no limits, yet at the same time, one felt the joy of being permeated, enveloped and of being able to widen, widen, widen indefinitely – to widen the whole being, from the highest consciousness to the most material consciousness. And then, at the same time, to look at this body and to see every cell, every atom vibrating with a divine, radiant Presence with all its Consciousness, all its Power, all its Will, all its Love – all, all, really – and a joy! An extraordinary joy. And one did not disturb the other, nothing was contradictory and everything was felt at the same time. That was when I said, ‘But truly! This body had to have the training it has had for more than seventy years to be able to bear all that without starting to cry out or dance or leap up or whatever it might be!’ No, it was calm (it was exultant, but it was very calm), and it remained in control of its movements and its words. In spite of the fact that it was really living in another world, it could apparently act normal due to this strenuous training in self-control by the REASON – by the reason – over the whole being, which has tamed it and given it such a great cohesive power that I can BE in the experience, I can LIVE this experience, and at the same time respond with the most amiable of smiles to the most idiotic questions!

1. In effect, according to tradition, the first divine forces that emanated for the creation were the Asuras, who turned into demons. The gods were created later to repair the disorder engendered by the demons.

2. So’ham the traditional mantra of the Vedantic path, which declares that the world is an illusion.


 

And then, it always ends in the same way, by a canticle to the action of the grace: ‘O, Lord! You are truly marvelous! All the experiences I have needed to pass through You have given to me, all the things I needed to do to make this body ready You have made me do, and always with the feeling that it was You who was making me do it’ – and with the universal disapproval of all the right-minded humanity!

@

July 1958

To do this Yoga, one must have at least some sense of beauty. Without it, one lacks one of the most important aspects of the physical world.

There is a beauty of the soul, a dignity of the soul – it is a thing to which I am very sensitive, a thing that moves me and arouses great respect in me, always.

A beauty of the soul?

Yes, it shows through in the face; this kind of dignity, beauty, harmony of an integral realization. When the soul shows through in the physical, it imparts this dignity, this beauty, this majesty, the majesty that comes from being the Tabernacle. Thus, even things that have no particular beauty assume a sense of eternal beauty, of THE eternal beauty.

In this way, I have seen faces change from one extreme to the other in a flash. Someone who had this kind of beauty, harmony,


this sense of divine dignity in the body, and suddenly the perception of the obstacle or the difficulty comes, then the sense of wrong, of unworthiness – there is a sudden distortion in the appearance, a kind of decomposition of the features! And yet it is the same face. It takes place in a flash, it’s frightful. This kind of hideousness of torment, of degradation (it is exactly what has been expressed in religions as the ‘torment of sin’), it changes your face unrecognizably! Even features that are beautiful in themselves become frightful – and they are the same features, the same person.

Thus I saw how horrible is the sense of sin, how much it belongs to the world of falsehood.

July 19, 1958

A peach should ripen on the tree; it’s a fruit that should be picked when the sun is upon it. Just as the sun falls on it, you come along, pluck it and bite into it. Then it is absolute paradise.

There are two such fruits – peaches and golden green plums. It is the same for both. You must take them warm from the tree, bite into them, and you are filled with the taste of paradise.

Every fruit should be eaten in a special way.

At heart, this is the symbol of the earthly Paradise and the tree of Knowledge: by biting into the fruit of Knowledge, one loses the spontaneity of movement and begins objectivizing, learning, questioning. So as soon as they ate of this fruit, they were full of sin.

I say that every fruit should be eaten in its own way. The being who lives according to his own nature, his own truth, must spontaneously find the right way of using things. When you live according to the truth of your being, you don’t need to learn things: you do them spontaneously, according to the inner law. When you sincerely follow your nature, spontaneously and sincerely, you are divine. As soon as you think or look at yourself acting or start questioning, you are full of sin.

It is man’s mental consciousness that has filled all Nature with


the idea of sin and all the misery it brings. Animals are not at all unhappy in the way we are. Not at all, not at all, except – as Sri Aurobindo says – those that are corrupted. Those that are corrupted are those that live with men. Dogs have the sense of sin and guilt, for their whole aspiration is to resemble man. Man is the god. Hence there is dissimulation, hypocrisy: dogs lie. But men admire that. They say, ‘Oh! How intelligent they are!’

They have lost their divinity.

Truly, the human species is at a point in the spiral which is not very pretty.

But isn’t a dog more conscious, more evolved than a tiger, or higher in the spiral – that is, nearer the Divine?

It’s not a question of being conscious. There is no doubt that man is more evolved than the tiger, but the tiger is more divine than man. One shouldn’t confuse things. These are two entirely different things.

The Divine is everywhere, in everything. We should never forget it – not for a second should we forget it. He is everywhere, in everything; and in an unconscious but spontaneous, therefore sincere, way, all that exists below the mental manifestation is divine, without mixture; in other words, it exists spontaneously and in harmony with its nature. It is man with his mind who has introduced the idea of guilt. Naturally, he is much more conscious! There’s no question about it, it’s a fact, although what we call consciousness (what ‘we’ call it, that is, what man calls consciousness) is the power to objectify and mentalize things. It is not the true consciousness, but it’s what men call consciousness. So according to the human mode, it is obvious that man is much more conscious than the animal, but the human brings in sin and perversion which do not exist outside of this state we call ‘conscious’ – which in fact is not conscious but merely consists in mentalizing things and in having the ability to objectify them.

It is an ascending curve, but a curve that swerves away from the Divine. So naturally, one has to climb much higher to find a higher Divine, since it is a conscious Divine, whereas the others are divine spontaneously and instinctively, without being conscious of it. All our moral notions of good and evil, all of that, are what we have thrown over the creation with our distorted and perverted consciousness. It is we who have invented it.


 

We are the distorting intermediary between the purity of the animal and the divine purity of the gods.

@

July 21, 1958

Human beings don’t know how to keep energy. When something happens – an accident or an illness, for example – and they ask for help, a double or a triple dose of energy is sent. If they happen to be receptive, they receive it. This energy is given for two reasons: to restore order out of the disorder caused by the accident or illness, and to impart a transformative force to repair or change the source of the illness or accident.

But instead of using the energy in this way, they immediately throw it out. They start stirring about, reacting, working, speaking ... They feel full of energy and they throw it all out! They can’t keep anything. So naturally, since the energy was not sent to be wasted like that but for an inner use, they feel absolutely flat, run down. And it is universal. They don’t know, they do not know how to make this movement – to turn within, to use the energy (not to keep it, it doesn’t keep), to use it to repair the damage done to the body and to go deeply within to find the reason for this accident or illness, and there to change it by an aspiration, an inner transformation. Instead of that, right away they start speaking, stirring about, reacting, doing this or that!

In fact, the immense majority of human beings feel they are living only when they waste their energy. Otherwise, it does not seem to them to be life.

Not to waste energy means to utilize it towards the ends for which it was given. If energy is given for the transformation, for the sublimation of the being, it must be used for that; if energy is given to restore something that has been disrupted in the body, it must be used for that.

Naturally, if a special work is given to someone along with the energy to do this work, it’s very good as long as it is being used towards the end for which it was given.

But as soon as a man feels energetic, he immediately rushes


into action. Or else, those who don’t have the sense of doing something useful start gossiping. And still worse, those who have no control over themselves become intolerant and start arguing! If someone contradicts their will, they feel full of energy and they mistake that for a ‘godlike wrath’!

@

July 23, 1958

In the final analysis, seeing the world such as it is and seems meant to be irremediably, human intellect has decided that this universe must be an error of God and that the manifestation or creation is certainly the result of a desire, the desire to manifest, know oneself, enjoy oneself. So the only thing to do is to put an end to this error as soon as possible by refusing to cling to desire and its fatal consequences.

But the Supreme Lord answers that the comedy is not entirely played out, and He adds: ‘Wait for the last act; undoubtedly you will change your mind.’

@

July (?) 1958

Why, by what mechanism, do mental formulations dissipate an experience and make it lose the major part of its power of action on the consciousness?

Suppose, for example, you want to undo a wrong movement and, as the result of a grace, the Force is sent for this purpose and begins acting upon the consciousness. Then if you pull it towards you, as it were, to try to formulate it, naturally you deconcentrate it, disperse and dissipate it.


 

But that’s not all; the simple fact of speaking to another person automatically opens you to all that can come from that person. An exchange always takes place. His curiosity, his obscurity, his good or sometimes even his bad will interfere, modify, distort.

Whereas if you wish to speak of your experience to your guru and he consents to listen to you, it means that he ADDS his force, his knowledge, his experience to the working of the Force and he helps its effectuation.

But the damage caused by the formulation still exists?

Yes, but he repairs it.

@

August 7, 1958

It is very difficult to manage both at the same time: the transformation of the body and taking care of people. But what can I do? I told Sri Aurobindo I would do the work, and I am doing it – I cannot just abandon everything.

When I think of the time the hatha yogis devote to the work on the body – they do nothing but that; they do nothing but that all the time, until they have attained a certain point. This is in fact the reason why Sri Aurobindo wanted none of it: he found that it took a lot of time for a rather meager result.

***

Day and night, I am investigating all that has to be transformed ... I can assure you that there is plenty of work!

Last night, I had many dreams (not really dreams, but ... ); I used to find them very interesting because they gave me certain indications, all kinds of things, but when I saw it all now, I said to myself, ‘Good Lord! What a waste of time! Instead, I could be living in a supramental consciousness and seeing things.’ So during the night, I made a resolution to change all this too. My nights have to change. I am already changing my days; now my nights have to


change. But then all this subconscious in Matter, all this, it all has to change! There’s no choice, it has to be seen to.

Once you set to this work, it is such a formidable task! But what can I do?

@

August 8, 1958

It’s remarkable that things you have understood in your consciousness ... reappear as problems to be solved in the cells of the body.

In the cells, both things are there. The body is convinced of the divine Presence everywhere, that all is the Divine – it lives in that; and at the same time, it shrinks from certain contacts! I saw that this morning, both things at once, and I said, ‘Lord, I know nothing at all!’

There (gesture above the head), everything has been resolved, I could write books on how to resolve this or that, how the synthesis is made, etc., but here (the body) ... I live this synthesis stumblingly. The two coexist, but it is still not THAT (gesture, hands clasped together, pointing upwards).

(silence)

What problems come up! If there were a plague or cholera, for example, would the supramental Force in the cells, the supramental realization, be able to restore order out of the disorder that allows the epidemic to be? I don’t mean on an individual level – individually, if you are in a certain consciousness, you can remain untouched – I am not speaking of that, I am speaking impersonally, as it were.

We know nothing. We believe we know, but as soon as it is a question of that (the body), we know nothing. As soon as we are in the subtle physical, we know everything, we live in bliss – but here, we know nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing.


 

@

August 9, 1958

If human love came forth unalloyed, it would be all-powerful. Unfortunately, in human love, there is as much SELF love as love for the beloved; it is not a love that makes you forget yourself.

Evidently the gods of the Puranas are a good deal worse than human beings, as we saw in that film the other day’ (and that story was absolutely true). The gods of the Overmind are infinitely more egocentric – the only thing that counts for them is their power, the extent of their power. Man has in addition a psychic being, so consequently he has true love and compassion – wherein lies his superiority over the gods. It was very, very clearly expressed in this film, and it’s very true.

The gods are faultless, for they live according to their own nature, spontaneously and without constraint; it is their godly way. But if one looks at it from a higher point of view, if one has a higher vision, a vision of the whole, they have fewer qualities than man. In this film, it was proved that through their capacity for love and self-giving, men can have as much power as the gods, and even more – when they are not egoists, when they can overcome their egoism.

Certainly man is nearer the Supreme than the gods. Provided he fulfills the necessary conditions, he can be nearer – he isn’t so automatically, but he can be, he has the power, the potentiality to be.

1. Anusuya: wife of the rishi Atri and endowed with a great inner force. In her husband’s absence, three gods came (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) disguised as brahmins and asked her for something to eat. Then they refused to eat unless she served them naked. Since they were brahmins, she could not send them away without feeding them, so by her inner power, she changed them into babies and served them naked. This film was shown at the Ashram Playground on August 5, 1958.


 

@

August 12, 1958

(Letter from Mother to Satprem, travelling)

8.12.58

My dear child,

Behind all the appearances and diverse entities, I am always present near you, and my love enfolds you.

I have put the work aside and shall be happy to do it with you upon your return.

My blessings never leave you.

Signed: Mother

@

August 29, 1958

(Note written by Mother after an experience She had during a playground meditation when Swami J.J. was present. It was this swami with whom Satprem journeyed in the Himalayas to receive tantric initiation.’)

The mantra written upon each of the souvenirs2 from the Himalayas has a strong power of evoking the Supreme Mother.

At the Thursday evening meditation, he appeared as the ‘Guru of Tantric Initiation,’ magnified and seated upon a symbolic representation of the forces and riches of material Nature (in the middle of the playground, to my left), and he put into my hand something sufficiently material for me to feel the vibrations physically, and it had a great realizing power. It was a kind of luminous and very vibrant globe which I held in my hands during the whole meditation.

S, who was sitting in front of me, spontaneously asked me afterwards what I had been holding in my hands during the meditation, and she described it thus: ‘It was round, very soft and luminous like the moon.’

1. Satprem would later part company with this Swami and follow a thorough tantric discipline with another guru who will henceforth be called X in the Agenda.

2. The Swami brought back various objects and souvenirs from the Himalayas which he presented to Mother.


 

@

August 30, 1958

(In the presence of Pavitra and Abhay Singh,* Mother recounts a vision she had during the night)

It was just at four o’clock in the morning, and it woke me up. It was exactly like this ... I was apparently in my bathroom, and I had to open the door between the bathroom and Sri Aurobindo’s room; the moment I put my hand on the doorknob, I knew with an absolute certainty that destruction was awaiting me behind the door. It had the form or image of those great invaders of India, those who had swooped down upon India and destroyed everything in their wake ... But it was only an impression.

So the door had to be opened and I ... felt and said, ‘Lord, may your will be done.’ I opened the door and behind it was z2 in the same clothes he wears when he drives, and he was leaning against one of those big tractor tires – or perhaps he was holding it at the same time. I was so dumbfounded that I woke up. It took me a little while to be able to understand what it might mean, and afterwards ... Even now, I still don’t know ... What was I? Was I India, or was I the world? ... I don’t know. And what did Z represent? ... It was as imperative and clear, as positive and absolute as could be: the certitude that destruction was behind the door, that it was inevitable. And it had the form of those great Tartar or Mongol invaders, those people who came from the North and invaded India, who pillaged everything ... That’s what it was like. But what Z was doing there I don’t know. What does he represent? ... The first impulse was to tell Abhay Singh, ‘Forbid him to drive the tractor.’

I. The disciple who managed the Ashram ‘Atelier’: mechanical workshop, maintenance garage, automobile service, etc.

2. A young disciple who worked in the Atelier.


 

(Pavitra:) What was he holding in his hands, Mother?

Huge tires ... He was standing there, like that, with a very majestic air. He was wearing his white outfit, those long pyjamas ...

(Abhay Singh:) Yesterday he drove the station wagon for the visitors.

Does it also have large tires?

(Pavitra:) A little bigger than jeep tires.

No, it came up to here (gesture to the top of the head). It seemed to be a tractor tire, but it did not have the heavy tread that tractor tires have.

(Abhay Singh:) There are tractor tires that have no tread.

Ah! So ... He was standing, and it came up to here (same gesture). So it must have been a tractor tire. What could it represent, he, and the tractor? ... I don’t know ... It was not personal, you see – I mean this body. It had nothing to do with that.

(Pavitra:) The industrialization of India?

(silence ) I don’t know.

@

September 1958

(Fragment of a conversation concerning the translation into French of Sri Aurobindo’s aphorism:’ ... Knowledge is so much of the truth, seen in a distorted medium, as the mind arrives at by groping; Wisdom what the eye of divine vision sees in the spirit.’


 

Mother compares the Truth to a pure white light, then continues:)

... But this white, precisely, is composed of all the colors. So when you perceive a thing, instead of seeing it as white, there are a certain number of colors that completely elude your perception: you see red, green, yellow, blue or something else, but it does not make white because some colors are missing. This is a very good image. The distorted milieu cannot perceive the whole, it perceives only partially – not partially the parts of a complete whole, but a mixture of something which escapes it in its entirety because the milieu is unfit to manifest or express or even perceive the totality.

This color metaphor is quite adequate.

Truth is like a white light recomposed, for it contains all that is, but the milieu is unfit to manifest all the elements or all the colors – and it can be said that the best escape. So, instead of seeing a white light, you see a number of colors of something from which they derived.

Sri Aurobindo put it as vaguely as possible on purpose: ‘so much of the truth ... as the mind arrives at.’ It must be put in as vague a form as possible – all precision is falsifying. I searched for one hour and didn’t find it. I put ‘autant de la vérité ... que le mental peut saisir.’ ‘Autant’ is not elegant, it is scarcely French, but I think it is the only way to put it which is not false (I believe so, unless you have something better to suggest). But in any event, what you say is unacceptable; you cannot put ‘la partie ou la portion de la vérité’ [the part or portion of truth] – it’s not a portion, it is not at all a portion.

Then we could say ‘ce que’: ‘La Connaissance est ce que, de la vérité vue dans un milieu déformé, le mental peut saisir ... “

(Mother assents)

1. Final translation:’ ... La Connaissance est ce qu’en tâtonnant le mental peut saisir de la Vérité vue dans un milieu déformé; la Sagesse, ce que l’oeil de la vision divine voit en l’esprit.’


 

@

September 16, 1958

I would very much like to have a ‘true mantra.’

I have a whole stock of mantras; they have all come spontaneously, never from the head. They sprang forth spontaneously, as the Veda is said to have sprung forth.

I don’t know when it began – a very long time ago, before I came here, although some of them came while I was here. But in my case, they were always very short. For example, when Sri Aurobindo was here in his body, at any moment, in any difficulty, for anything, it always came like this: ‘My Lord!’ – simply and spontaneously – ‘My Lord!’ And instantly, the contact was established. But since He left, it has stopped. I can no longer say it, for it would be like saying ‘My Lord, My Lord!’ to myself.

I had a mantra in French before coming to Pondicherry. It was Dieu de bonté et de miséricorde ... [God of kindness and mercy], but what it means is usually not understood – it is an entire program, a universal program. I have been repeating this mantra since the beginning of the century; it was the mantra of ascension, of realization. At present, it no longer comes in the same way, it comes rather as a memory. But it was deliberate, you see; I always said Dieu de bonté et de miséricorde, because even then I understood that everything is the Divine and the Divine is in all things and that it is only we who make a distinction between what is or what is not the Divine.

My experience is that, individually, we are in relationship with that aspect of the Divine which is not necessarily the most in conformity with our natures, but which is the most essential for our development or the most necessary for our action. For me, it was always a question of action because, personally, individually, each aspiration for personal development had its own form, its own spontaneous expression, so I did not use any formula. But as soon as there was the least little difficulty in action, it sprang forth. Only long afterwards did I notice that it was formulated in a certain way – I would utter it without even knowing what the words were. But it came like this: Dieu de bonté et de miséricorde. It was as if I wanted to eliminate from action all aspects that were not this one. And it lasted for ... I don’t know, more than twenty or twenty-five years of my life. It came spontaneously.


 

Just recently one day, the contact became entirely physical, the whole body was in great exaltation, and I noticed that other lines were spontaneously being added to this Dieu de bonte et de misericorde, and I noted them down. It was a springing forth of states of consciousness – not words.

Seigneur, Dieu de bonte et de misericorde Seigneur, Dieu d’unite souveraine Seigneur, Dieu de beaute et d’harmonie Seigneur, Dieu de puissance et de realisation Seigneur, Dieu d’amour et de compassion Seigneur, Dieu du silence et de la contemplation Seigneur, Dieu de lumiere et de connaissance Seigneur, Dieu de vie et d’immortalite Seigneur, Dieu de jeunesse et de progres Seigneur, Dieu d’abondance et de plenitude Seigneur, Dieu de force et de sante.

Lord, God of kindness and mercy Lord, God of sovereign oneness Lord, God of beauty and harmony Lord, God of power and realization Lord, God of love and compassion Lord, God of silence and contemplation Lord, God of light and knowledge Lord, God of life and immortality Lord, God of youth and progress Lord, God of abundance and plenitude Lord, God of strength and health.

The words came afterwards, as if they had been superimposed upon the states of consciousness, grafted onto them. Some of the associations seem unexpected, but they were the exact expression of the states of consciousness in their order of unfolding. They came one after another, as if the contact was trying to become more complete. And the last was like a triumph. As soon as I finished writing (in writing, all this becomes rather flat), the impetus within was still alive and it gave me the sense of an all-conquering Truth. And the last mantra sprang forth:

Seigneur, Dieu de la Verite victorieuse!

Lord, God of victorious Truth!


 

Like a triumph. But I didn’t write that one down because I did not want to spoil my impression.

Of course, these things should not be published. We can file them in this Agenda of the Supramental Manifestation for later on. Later on, when the Victory is won, we shall say, ‘If you want to see the curve ... ‘

But what is going to come now? I constantly hear the Sanskrit mantra:

OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH*

It is there, all around me; it takes hold of all the cells and at once they spring forth in an ascension. And Narada’s mantra, too:

Narayana, Narayana ...

(it is actually a Command which means: now you shall do as I wish), but it doesn’t come from the heart.

What will it be?

It will simply spring forth in a flash, all of a sudden, and it will be very powerful. Only power can do something. Love vanishes like water running through sand: people remain beatific ... and nothing moves! No, power is needed – like Shiva, stirring, churning ...

When I have this mantra, instead of saying hello, good-bye, I shall say that. When I say hello, good-bye, it means ‘Hello: the Presence is here, the Light is here.’ ‘Good-bye: I am not going away, I am staying here.’

But when I have this mantra, I believe something will happen.

(silence)

For the moment, of all the formulas or mantras, the one that acts most directly on this body, that seizes all the cells and immediately does this (vibrating motion) is the Sanskrit mantra: OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH.

As soon as I sit for meditation, as soon as I have a quiet minute to concentrate, it always begins with this mantra, and there is a response in the body, in the cells of the body: they all start vibrating.

1.The first syllable of NAMO is pronounced with a short ‘a,’ as in nahmo. The final word is pronounced BHA-GAH-VA-TEH.


 

This is how it happened: Y had just returned, and he brought back a trunk full of things which he then proceeded to show me, and his excitement made tight, tight little waves in the atmosphere, making my head ache; it made ... anyway, it was unpleasant. When I left, just after that had happened, I sat down and went like this (gesture of sweeping out) to make it stop, and immediately the mantra began.

It rose up from here (Mother indicates the solar plexus), like this: Om Namo Bhagavateh OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH. It was formidable. For the entire quarter of an hour that the meditation lasted, everything was filled with Light! In the deeper tones it was of golden bronze (at the throat level it was almost red) and in the higher tones it was a kind of opaline white light: OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH, OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH, OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH.

The other day (I was in my bathroom upstairs), it came; it took hold of the entire body. It rose up in the same way, and all the cells were trembling. And with such a power! So I stopped everything, all movement, and I let the thing grow. The vibration went on expanding, ever widening, as the sound itself was expanding, expanding, and all the cells of the body were seized with an intensity of aspiration ... as if the entire body were swelling – it became overwhelming. I felt that it would all burst.

I understood those who withdraw from everything to live that totally.

And it has such a transformative power! I felt that if it continued, something would happen, something like a change in the equilibrium of the body’s cells.

Unfortunately, I was unable to continue, because ... I don’t have the time; it was just before the balcony darshan and I was going to be late. Something told me, ‘That is for people who have nothing to do.’ Then I said, ‘I belong to my work,’ and I slowly withdrew. I put on the brakes, and the action was cut short. But what remains is that whenever I repeat this mantra ... everything starts vibrating.

So each one must find something that acts on himself, individually. I am only speaking of the action on the physical plane, because mentally, vitally, in all the inner parts of the being, the aspiration is always, always spontaneous. I am referring only to the physical plane.

The physical seems to be more open to something that is repetitious – for example, the music we play on Sundays, which


has three series of combined mantras. The first is that of Chandi, addressed to the universal Mother:

Ya devi sarvabhuteshu matrirupena sansthita

Ya devi sarvabhuteshu shaktirupena sansthita

Ya devi sarvabhuteshu shantirupena sansthita

Namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo namah

The second is addressed to Sri Aurobindo (and I believe they have put my name at the end). It incorporates the mantra I was speaking of:

Om namo namah shrimirambikayai Om namo bhagavateh shriaravindaya Om namo namah shrimirambikayai.

And the third is addressed to Sri Aurobindo: ‘Thou art my refuge.’

Shriaravindah sharanam mama.

Each time this music is played, it produces exactly the same effect upon the body. It is strange, as if all the cells were dilating, with a feeling that the body is growing larger ... It becomes all dilated, as if swollen with light – with force, a lot of force. And this music seems to form spirals, like luminous ribbons of incense smoke, white (not transparent, literally white) and they rise up and up. I always see the same thing; it begins in the form of a vase, then swells like an amphora and converges higher up to blossom forth like a flower.

So for these mantras, everything depends upon what you want to do with them. I am in favor of a short mantra, especially if you want to make both numerous and spontaneous repetitions – one or two words, three at most. Because you must be able to use them in all cases, when an accident is about to happen, for example. It has to spring up without thinking, without calling: it should issue forth from the being spontaneously, like a reflex, exactly like a reflex. Then the mantra has its full force.

For me, on the days when I have no special preoccupations or difficulties (days I could call normal, when I am normal), everything I do, all the movements of this body, all, all the words I utter, all the gestures I make, are accompanied and upheld by or lined, as it were, with this mantra:


 

OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH ... OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH ...

all, all the time, all the time, all the time.

That is the normal state. It creates an atmosphere of an intensity almost more material than the subtle physical; it’s like ... almost like the phosphorescent radiations from a medium. And it has a great action, a very great action: it can prevent an accident. And it accompanies you all the time, all the time.

But it is up to you to know what you want to do with it.

To sustain the aspiration – to remember. We so easily lapse into forgetfulness. To create a kind of automatism.

You have no mantras that have come to you, that give you a more living feeling? ... Are their mantras long?

Yes, they are long. And he’ has not given me any mantra of the Mother, so ... They exist, but he has not given me any ... I don’t know, they don’t have much effect on me. It is something very mental.

That’s why it should spring forth from you.

(silence)

This one, this mantra, OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH, came to me after some time, for I felt ... well, I saw that I needed to have a mantra of my own, that is, a mantra consonant with what this body has to do in the world. And it was just then that it came.2 It was truly an answer to a need that had made itself felt. So if you feel the need – not there, not in your head, but here (Mother points to the center of her heart), it will come. One day, either you will hear the words, or they will spring forth from your heart ... And when that happens, you must hold onto it.

1. The tantric Swami.

2. The different mantras or prayers that came to Mother and which She grouped under the heading Prayers of the Consciousness of the Cells, are included as an addendum to the Agenda of 1959.


 

@

September 19, 1958

Something the modern world has completely lost is the sense of the sacred.

Ever since my childhood, I have spent my time veiling myself’: one veil over another veil over another veil, so as to remain invisible. Because to see me without the true attitude is the arch-sin. Anyway, ‘sin’ in the sense Sri Aurobindo defines it – meaning that things are no longer in their place.

@

October 1, 1958

(Mother speaks of an experience She had during, the Wednesday class at the playground:)

It was so strong, so strong that it was really inexpressible. The negative expel fence of no longer being an individual, or in other words, the dissolution of the ego, took place a long time ago and still takes place quite often: the ego completely vanishes. But this was a positive experience of being ... not just the universe in its totality, but something else – ineffable, yet concrete, absolutely concrete! Unutterable’ – and yet utterly concrete: the divine Person beyond the Impersonal.

The experience lasted for only a few minutes. And I knew, then, that all our words ... all our words are empty. But circumstances were such that I had to speak ...

1. Later, Mother added: ‘Becausc I do not say everything; when I am in that state, there is a lethargy of expression!


 

@

October 4, 1958

Do all our vibrations reach you or must they have a special intensity?

It must be strong enough to pull me from my concentration or my activity. If’ I knew when you concentrate or do your puja,’ I could tune into you, and shell I would know more; otherwise, my inner life is too ... l am not at all passive inwardly, you see, I am very active, so I don’t usually receive your vibrations unless they impose themselves strongly or unless I have decided beforehand to be attentive to what is coming from someone or other. If I know that at a given moment something is going to happen, then I open a door, as it were. But it’s difficult to speak of these things.

When you left on your journey,2 for example, I made a specie! concentration for all to go well so that nothing untoward happen to you. I even made a formation and asked for a constant, special help over you. Then I renewed my concentration every day, which is how I came to notice that you were invoking me very regulary. I Saw you everyday, everyday, with a very regular precision. It was something that imposed itself on me, but it imposed itself’ only because l had initially made a formation to follow you.

For people here in the Ashram, my work is not the same. It is more like a kind of atmosphere that extends everywhere – a very conscious atmosphere – which I let work for each one according to his need. I don’t have a special action for each person, unless something requires my special attention. When I would tune into you while you were travelling, I clearly saw your image appear before me, as though you were looking at me, but now that you have returned here, I no longer see it. Rather, I receive a sensation or an impression; and as these sensations and impressions are innumerable, it’s rather like one element among many. It no longer imposes itself in such an entirely distinct way nor does


it appear before me in the same manner, as a clear image of yourself, as though you wanted to know something.

I Puja: ceremony , invocation or evocation of a god (in this case, a tantric ritual ).

2. When the disciple became a Sannyasi and travelled in the Himalayas with the tantric swami

As soon as I am alone, I enter into a very deep concentration, – a state of consciousness, a kind of universal activity. Is it deep? What is it? ... It is far beyond all the mental regions, far, far beyond, and it is constant. As soon as I am alone or resting somewhere, that’s how it is.

The other day when I was in this state of concentration, I had the vision that I mentioned to you. I felt I was being pulled, that something was pulling me and trying to draw my attention. I felt it very strongly. So I opened my eyes, my mental eyes (the physical eyes may remain opened or closed, it makes no difference either way; when I am concentrated, things on the physical plane no longer exist), I deliberately opened the mind’s eyes, for that is where I felt myself being pulled, and then I had this vision I told you of. Someone was trying to draw my attention, to tell me something. It takes someone really quite powerful, with a very great power of concentration, to do that – there are certainly a great many people here and elsewhere who try to do this, yet I don’t feel a thing.’

In the outer, practical domain, I might suddenly think of someone, so I know that this person is calling or thinking of me. When you left on your trip, I created a special link-up so that if ever, at any moment, you called me for anything, I would know it instantly, and I remained attentive and alert. But I do that only in exceptional cases. Generally speaking, when I haven’t made this special link-up, things keep coming in and coming in and coming in and coming in, and the answer goes out automatically, here or there or there or there – hundreds and hundreds of things that I don’t keep in my memory because then it would really be frightful. I don’t keep these things in my consciousness; it is rather a work that is done automatically.

When you asked me if x2 were thinking of me, I consulted my atmosphere and saw that it was true, that even many times a day X’s thoughts were coming. So I know that he is concentrating on me, or something: it simply passes through me, and I answer automatically. But I don’t particularly pay attention to X, unless you ask me a question about him, in which case I deliberately tune into him, then observe and determine whether it’s like this or like that. Whereas this vision the other day was something that thrust itself on me; I was in another region altogether, in my inner contemplation, my concentration – a very strong concentration – when I was forced to enter into contact with this being whose vision I had and who was obviously a very powerful being. After telling me what he had to tell me, he went away in a very peculiar way, not at all suddenly as most people appear and disappear, not at all like that. When I first saw him, there was a living form – the being himself was there – but upon leaving (probably to see the effect, to find out whether he had truly succeeded in making himself understood), he left behind a kind of image of himself. Afterwards, this image blurred and it left only a silhouette, an outline, then it disappeared altogether leaving only an impression. That was the last thing I saw. So I kept the impression and analyzed it to find out exactly what was involved; all this was filed away, and then it was over. I began my concentration once again.

1. In this vision, the d. ceased tantric guru of the guru who initiated Satprem appeared to Mother in a dark blue light and ‘imposed’ himself on her to tell her certain things.

2 The disciple’s tantric guru.


 

I intentionally carry everybody in my active consciousness for the work, and I do the work consciously; but the extent to which people in the world, or those who are here in the Ashram, are conscious of this or receive the results depends upon them, though not exclusively.

The other day, for example, though I no longer recall exactly when (I forget everything on purpose) – but it was in the last part of the night – I had a rather long activity concerning the whole realization of the Ashram, notably in the fields of education and art. I was apparently inspecting this area to see how things were there, so naturally I saw a certain number of people, their work and their inner states. Some saw me and, at that moment, had a vision of me. It is likely that many were asleep and didn’t notice anything, but some actually saw me. The next morning, for example, someone who works at the theater told me that she had had a splendid vision of me in which I had spoken to her, blessed her, etc. This was her way of receiving the work I had done. And this kind of thing is happening more and more, in that my action is awakening the consciousness in others more and more strongly.

Naturally, the reception is always incomplete or partially modified; when it passes through the individuality, it becomes narrowed, a personal thing. It seems impossible for each one to have a consciousness vast enough to see the thing in its entirety.


 

You said that our way of receiving your work or becoming conscious of it does not ‘exclusively’ depend upon us. What do you mean?

It depends upon the progress in the consciousness. The more the action is supramentalized, the more its reception is IMPOSED upon the consciousness of each one. The action’s progress makes it more and more perceptible IN SPITE OF each one’s condition. The milieu obviously limits and alters – distorts – what it receives, but the quality of the Work acts upon this receptivity and imposes itself on it in a more and more efficient and imperious way.

There is an interdependence between the individual progress and the collective progress, between that which works and that which is worked upon. It proceeds like this (gesture of intermeshing), and as one progresses, the other progresses. The progress above not only hastens the progress below but brings the two nearer together, thus changing the distance in the relationship; that is, the distance will not remain the same, the ratio between the progress here and the progress above won’t always be identical.

The progress above follows a certain trajectory, and in some cases the distance increases, in others it decreases (although on the whole, the distance remains relatively unchanged), but my feeling is that the collective receptivity will increase as the action becomes increasingly supramentalized. And the need for an individual receptivity – with all its distortions and alterations and limitations – will decrease in importance as the supramental influence increasingly imposes its power. This influence will impose itself in such a way that it will no longer be subject to the defects in receptivity.

(Shortly afterwards, concerning the experience of Wednesday,

October 1: the divine Person beyond the Impersonal)

Before, I always had the negative experience of the disappearance of the ego, of the oneness of Creation, where everything implying separation disappeared – an experience that, personally, I would call negative. Last Wednesday, while I was speaking (and


that’s why at the end I could no longer find my words), I seemed suddenly to have left this negative phenomenon and entered into the positive experience: the experience of BEING the Supreme Lord, the experience that nothing exists but the Supreme Lord – all is the Supreme Lord, there is nothing else. And at that moment, the feeling of this infinite power that has no limit, that nothing can limit, was so overwhelming that all the functions of the body, of this mental machine that summons up words, all this was ... I could no longer speak French. Perhaps the words could have come to me in English – probably, because it was easier for Sri Aurobindo to express himself in English, and that’s how it must have happened: it was the part embodied in Sri Aurobindo (the part of the Supreme that was embodied in Sri Aurobindo for its manifestation) that had the experience. This is what joined back with the Origin and caused the experience – I was well aware of it. And that is probably why its transcription through English words would have been easier than through French words (for at these moments, such activities are purely mechanical, rather like automatic machines). And naturally the experience left something behind. It left the sense of a power that can no longer be ‘qualified,” really. And it was there yesterday evening.

The difficulty – it’s not even a difficulty, it’s just a kind of precaution that is taken (automatically, in fact) in order to ... For example, the volume of Force that was to be expressed in the voice was too great for the speech organ. So I had to be a little attentive – that is, there had to be a kind of filtering in the outermost expression, otherwise the voice would have cracked. But this isn’t done through the will and reason, it’s automatic. Yet I feel that ... the capacity of Matter to contain and express is increasing with phenomenal speed. But it’s progressive, it can’t be done instantly. There have often been people whose outer form broke because the Force was too strong; well, I clearly see that it is being dosed out. After all, this is exclusively the concern of the Supreme Lord, I don’t bother about it – it’s not my concern and I don’t bother about it – He makes the necessary adjustments. Thus it comes progressively, little by little, so that no fundamental disequilibrium occurs. It gives the impression that one’s head is swelling so tremendously it will burst! But then if there is a moment of stillness, it adapts; gradually, it adapts.

1 We believe that Mother used the word ‘qualified’ in the sense of restrict, limit Or modify – a limitless Power.


 

Only, one must be careful to keep the ‘sense of the Unmanifest’ sufficiently present so that the various things – the elements, the cells and all that – have time to adapt. The sense of the Unmanifest, or in other words, to step back into the Unmanifest.’ This is what all those who have had experiences have done, they always believed that there was no possibility of adaptation, so they left their bodies and went off.

***

(Towards the end of the conversation, about money:)

Money belongs to the one who spends it; that is an absolute law. You may pile up money, but it doesn’t belong to you until you spend it. Then you have the merit, the glory, the joy, the pleasure of spending it!

Money is meant to circulate. What should remain constant is the progressive movement of an increase in the earth’s production – an ever-expanding progressive movement to increase the earth’s production and improve existence on earth. It is the material improvement of terrestrial life and the growth of the earth’s production that must go on expanding, enlarging, and not this silly paper or this inert metal that is amassed and lifeless.

Money is not meant to generate money; money should generate an increase in production, an improvement in the conditions of life and a progress in human consciousness. This is its true use. What I call an improvement in consciousness, a progress in consciousness, is everything that education in all its forms can provide – not as it’s generally understood, but as we understand it here: education in art, education in ... from the education of the body, from the most material progress, to the spiritual education and progress through yoga; the whole spectrum, everything that leads humanity towards its future realization. Money should serve to augment that and to augment the material base for the earth’s progress, the best use of what the earth can give – its intelligent utilization, not the utilization that wastes and loses energies. The use that allows energies to be replenished.

1. The vastness beyond the creation or the cosmic manifestation, the solid base upon which all the rest can unfold.


 

In the universe there is an inexhaustible source of energy that asks only to be replenished; if you know how to go about it, it is replenished. Instead of draining life and the energies of our earth and making of it something parched and inert, we must know the practical exercise for replenishing the energy constantly. And these are not just words; I know how it’s to be done, and science is in the process of thoroughly finding out – it has found out most admirably. But instead of using it to satisfy human passions, instead of using what science has found so that men may destroy each other more effectively than they are presently doing, it must be used to enrich the earth: to enrich the earth, to make the earth richer and richer, more active, generous, productive and to make all life grow towards its maximum efficiency. This is the true use of money. And if it’s not used like that, it’s a vice – a ‘short circuit’ and a vice.

But how many people know how to use it in this way? Very few, which is why they have to be taught. What I call ‘teach’ is to show, to give the example. We want to be the example of true living in the world. It’s a challenge I am placing before the whole financial world: I am telling them that they are in the process of withering and ruining the earth with their idiotic system; and with even less than they are now spending for useless things – merely for inflating something that has no inherent life, that should be only an instrument at the service of life, that has no reality in itself, that is only a means and not an end (they make an end of something that is only a means) – well then, instead of making of it an end, they should make it the means. With what they have at their disposal they could ... oh, transform the earth so quickly! Transform it, put it into contact, truly into contact, with the supramental forces that would make life bountiful and, indeed, constantly renewed – instead of becoming withered, stagnant, shrivelled up: a future moon. A dead moon.

We are told that in a few millions or billions of years, the earth will become some kind of moon. The movement should be the opposite: the earth should become more and more a resplendent sun, but a sun of life. Not a sun that burns, but a sun that illumines – a radiant glory.


 

@

Undated 1958

(Concerning Finances’)

Money is a force and should not be an individual possession, no more than air, water or fire.

To begin with, the abolishment of inheritance.

***

Financial power is the materialization of a vital force turned into one of the greatest powers of action: the power to attract acquire, and utilize.

Like all the other powers, it must be put at the service of the Divine.

@

October 6, 1958

When I am not in my body, I have all kinds of contacts with people, contacts of different types. And it’s not a thing decided in advance, it is not willed, it is not even thought out; it is simply ... observed.

Certain relationships are entirely within me, entirely. It is not a relationship between individuals, but a relationship between states of being – which means that with the same individual there may be many different relationships. If it were a single whole ... but I am still not sure if there is a single person with whom the relationship is global.

So there are parts which are entirely within me, entirely – there is no difference; they are myself. There are other parts with which I am conscious of an exchange – a very familiar, very intimate exchange. And there are parts outside of me with which I still have relationships, not exactly as with strangers but merely as acquaintances; it is still necessary to observe their reactions in order to do the correct thing. And the ratio between these different parts is naturally different depending upon the different individuals.

1. Note written by Mother in French. The heading is hers.


 

***

(The disciple complains of his difficulties)

Difficulties are sent to us exclusively to make the realization more perfect.

Each time we try to realize something and we encounter a resistance or an obstacle, or even a failure – what appears to be a failure – we should know, we should NEVER forget, that it is exclusively, absolutely, to make the realization more perfect.

So this habit of cringing, of being discouraged or even feeling ill at ease or abusing oneself, saying, ‘There, I’ve done it again ...’ All this is absolute foolishness.

Rather, simply say, ‘We do not know how to do things as they should be done, well then, let them be done for us and come what may!’ If we could only see how everything that looks like a difficulty, an error, a failure or an obstacle is simply there to help us make the realization more perfect.

Once we know this, everything becomes easy.

@

October 10, 1958

(The disciple asks to know what he must do and what his place is in the universal manifestation)

In all religious and especially occult initiations, the ritual of the different ceremonies is prescribed in every detail; all the words pronounced, all the gestures made have their importance, and the least infraction of the rule, the least fault committed can have fatal consequences. It is the same in material life – if one had the initiation into the true way of living, one could transform physical existence.


 

If we consider the body as the tabernacle of the Lord, then medical science, for example, becomes the initiatory ritual of the service of the temple, and doctors of all kinds are the officiating priests in the different rituals of worship. Thus, medicine is really a priesthood and should be treated as such.

The same can be said of physical culture and of all the sciences that are concerned with the body and its workings. If the material universe is considered as the outer sheath and the manifestation of the Supreme, then it can generally be said that all the physical sciences are the rituals of worship.

We always come back to the same thing: the absolute necessity for perfect sincerity, perfect honesty and a sense of the dignity of all we do so that we may do it as it should be done.

If we could truly, perfectly know all the details of the ceremony of life, the worship of the Lord in physical life, it would be wonderful – to know, and no longer to err, never again to err. To perform the ceremony as perfectly as an initiation.

To know life utterly ... Oh, there is a very interesting thing in this regard! And it’s strange, but this particular knowledge reminds me of one of my Sutras’ (which I read out, but no one understood or understood only vaguely, ‘like that’):

‘It is the Supreme Lord who has ineluctably decreed the place you occupy in the universal concert, but whatever be this place, you have equally the same right as all others to ascend the supreme summits right to the supramental realization.’

There is one’s position in the universal hierarchy, which is something ineluctable – it is the eternal law – and there is the development in the manifestation, which is an education; it is progressive and done from within the being. What is remarkable is that to become a perfect being, this position – whatever it is, decreed since all eternity, a part of the eternal Truth – must manifest with the greatest possible perfection as a result of evolutionary growth. It is the junction, the union of the two, the eternal position and the evolutionary realization, that will make the total and perfect being, and the manifestation as the Lord has willed it since the beginning of all eternity (which has no beginning at all! ).

I see Agenda 1957, p. 119.


 

And for the cycle to be complete, one cannot stop on the way at any plane, not even the highest spiritual plane nor the plane closest to matter (like the occult plane in the vital, for example). One must descend right into matter, and this perfection in manifestation must be a material perfection, or otherwise the cycle is not complete – which explains why those who want to flee in order to realize the divine Will are in error. What must be done is exactly the opposite! The two must be combined in a perfect way. This is why all the honest sciences, the sciences that are practiced sincerely, honestly, exclusively with a will to know, are difficult paths – yet such sure paths for the total realization.

It brings up very interesting things. (What I am going to say now is very personal and consequently cannot be used, but it may be kept anyway:)

There are two parallel things that, from the eternal and supreme point of view, are of identical importance, in that both are equally essential for the realization to be a true realization.

On the one hand, there is what Sri Aurobindo – who, as the Avatar, represented the supreme Consciousness and Will on earth – declared me to be, that is, the supreme universal Mother; and on the other hand, there is what I am realizing in my body through the integral sadhana.’ I could be the supreme Mother and not do any sadhana, and as a matter of fact, as long as Sri Aurobindo was in his body, it was he who did the sadhana, and I received the effects. These effects were automatically established in the outer being, but he was the one doing it, not I – I was merely the bridge between his sadhana and the world. Only when he left his body was I forced to take up the sadhana myself; not only did I have to do what I was doing before – being a bridge between his sadhana and the world – but I had to carry on the sadhana myself. When he left, he turned over to me the responsibility for what he himself had been doing in his body, and I had to do it. So there are both these things. Sometimes one predominates, sometimes the other (I don’t mean successively in time, but ... it depends on the moment), and they are trying to combine in a total and perfect realization: the eternal, ineffable and immutable Consciousness of the Executrice of the Supreme, and the consciousness of the Sadhak of the integral Yoga who strives in an ascending effort towards an ever increasing progression.

1 Sadhana: yogic discipline. Sadhak: seeker.


 

To this has been added a growing initiation into the supramental realization which is (I understand it well now) the perfect union of what comes from above and what comes from below, or in other words, the eternal position and the evolutionary realization.

Then – and this becomes rather amusing like life’s play ... Depending upon each one’s nature and position and bias, and because human beings are very limited, very partial and incapable of a global vision, there are those who believe, who have faith, or to whom the eternal Mother is revealed through Grace, who have this kind of relationship with the eternal Mother – and there are those who themselves are plunged in sadhana, who have the consciousness of a developed sadhak, and thereby have the same relationship with me as one has with what they generally call a ‘realized soul.’ Such persons consider me the prototype of the Guru teaching a new way, but the others don’t have this relationship of sadhak to Guru (I am taking the two extremes, but of course there are all the possibilities in between), they are only in contact with the eternal Mother and, in the simplicity of their hearts, they expect Her to do everything for them. If they were perfect in this attitude, the eternal Mother would do everything for them – as a matter of fact, She does do everything, but as they aren’t perfect, they cannot receive it totally. But the two paths are very different, the two kinds of relationships are very different; and as we all live according to the law of external things, in a material body, there is a kind of annoyance, an almost irritated misunderstanding, between those who follow this path (not consciously and intentionally, but spontaneously), who have this relationship of the child to the Mother, and those who have this other relationship of the sadhak to the Guru. So it creates a whole play, with an infinite diversity of shades.

But all this is still in suspense, on the way to realization, moving forward progressively; therefore, unless we are able to see the outcome, we can’t understand a thing. We get confused. Only when we see the outcome, the final realization, only when we have TOUCHED there, will everything be understood – then it will be as clear and as simple as can be. But meanwhile, my relationships with different people are very funny, utterly amusing!

Those who have what I would call the more ‘outer’ relationship compared to the other (although it is not really so) – the relationship of yoga, of sadhana – consider the others superstitious; and the others, who have faith OI perception, or the Grace to have


understood what Sri Aurobindo meant (perhaps even before knowing what he said, but in any event, after he said it), discard the others as ignorant unbelievers! And there are all the gradations in between, so it really becomes quite funny!

It opens up extraordinary horizons; once you have understood this, you have the key – you have the key to many, many things: the different positions of each of the different saints, the different realizations and ... it resolves all the incoherencies of the various manifestations on earth.

For example, this question of Power – THE Power – over Matter. Those who perceive me as the eternal, universal Mother and Sri Aurobindo as the Avatar are surprised that our power is not absolute. They are surprised that we have not merely to say, ‘Let it be thus’ for it to be ‘thus.’ This is because, in the integral realization, the union of the two is essential: a union of the power that proceeds from the eternal position and the power that proceeds from the sadhana through evolutionary growth. Similarly, how is it that those who have reached even the summits of yogic knowledge (I was thinking of Swami) need to resort to beings like gods or demigods to be able to realize things? – Because they have indeed united with certain higher forces and entities, but it was not decreed since the beginning of time that they were this particular being. They were not born as this or that, but through evolution they united with a latent possibility in themselves. Each one carries the Eternal within himself, but one can join Him only when one has realized the complete union of the latent Eternal with the eternal Eternal.

And ... this explains everything, absolutely everything: how it works, how it functions in the world.’ I was saying to myself, ‘But I have no powers, I have no powers!’ Several days ago, I said, ‘But after all, I KNOW WHO is there, I know, yet how is it that ... ? There, up to there (the level of the head), it is all-powerful, nothing can resist – but here ... it is ineffective.’ So those who have faith, even an ignorant but real faith (it can be ignorant but nevertheless it is real), say, ‘What! How can you have no powers?’ ... Because the sadhana is not yet over.

1. Mother added: ‘The most beautiful part of the experience is missing ... When I try to formulate something in too precise a way, all the vastness of the experience evaporates. The entire world is being revealed in all its organization down to the minutes” details – but everything simultaneously – how can that be explained? It’s not possible.’


 

The Lord will possess his universe only when the universe will have consciously become the Lord.

@

October 17, 1958

(Mother brings with her the continuation of the first seven Sutras written by Her, probably in 1957.’)

They are in two groups.

The first group ends with a helping hand to those who have made the wrong choice (!):

7) But even in the event you have not made the irrevocable decision at the outset, should you have the good fortune to live during one of these unimaginable hours of universal history when the Grace is present, embodied upon earth, It will offer you, at certain exceptional moments, the renewed possibility of making a final choice that will lead you straight to the goal.

That was the message of hope.

And then it continues (Mother reads):

8) All division in the being is an insincerity.

9) The greatest insincerity is to carve an abyss between one’s body and the truth of one’s being.

10) When an abyss separates the true being from the physical being, Nature immediately fills it with all the hostile suggestions, of which the most deadly is fear and the most pernicious, doubt.

I wrote that before reading Sri Aurobindo’s aphorism on “the sentinels of Nature.” I found it very interesting and I said to myself, ‘Well! That’s exactly what came to me!’

1. See p. 119.


 

There is still one more (but it is not the last):

11) Allow nothing, nowhere, to deny the truth of your being: that is sincerity.

@

October 25, 1958

(Concerning the disciple’s tantric guru)

When X does his puja, I clearly see the particular form of the Mother he is invoking – I see her descending.

Each one is in touch with the universal expression of an aspect or a will or a mode of the Supreme, and if one aspires for this, it is this that comes, with an extraordinary plasticity. And when that happens, I even become the Witness (not the witness in the way of the Purusha2: a witness far more ... infinite and eternal than the Purusha). I see what responds, why it responds, how it responds. This is how I know what people want (not here below, nor even in their highest aspiration). I see it even when the people themselves are no longer conscious – or rather, not yet conscious (for me, it’s ‘no longer,’ but anyway ... ), when they are not yet conscious of this identification somewhere. Even then I see it.

It’s interesting.

1. ‘If mankind only caught a glimpse of what infinite enjoyments, what perfect forces, what luminous reaches of spontaneous knowledge, what wide calms of our being lie waiting for us in the tracts which our animal evolution has not yet conquered, they would leave all and never rest till they had gained these treasures. But the way is narrow, the doors are hard to force, and fear, distrust and scepticism are there, sentinels of Nature to forbid the turning away of our feet from less ordinary pastures.’ (Cent. Ed. Vol. XVII, p. 79)

2. Purusha: the Being or the Self that witnesses and supports the Becoming.


 

They do pujas to all these forces or divinities, but it is not ... it is not the highest Truth. What Sri Aurobindo called the true ‘surrender,’ the surrender to the Supreme, is a truth higher than that of relying solely upon oneself.

And that is what always brings in complications, conflicts. I was surprised that the atmosphere [of the Ashram] is filled with conflict when he is here – but that is the reason.’

Why aren’t people conscious of this identification while having it in a part of their being?

Between the outer consciousness and the deepest consciousness there are truly holes – which are ‘missing links’ between states of being and which have to be built, but they don’t know how to do it. So their first reaction when they go within is panic! They feel they are falling into night, into nothingness, into non-being!

I had a Danish friend, an artist, to whom this happened. He wanted me to teach him how to go out of his body. He had interesting dreams so he thought it might be worthwhile to go there consciously. I helped him to ‘go out’ – but it was frightful! ... When he dreamed, a part of his mind indeed remained conscious, active, and a kind of link remained between this active part and his outer being, so he remembered some of his dreams, but it was only a very partial phenomenon. To go out of your body means that you must gradually pass through ALL the states of being, if you are to do it systematically. But already in the subtle physical it was almost non-individualized, and as soon as he went a bit further, there was no longer anything! It was unformed, nonexistent.

So they sit down (they are told to interiorize, to go within themselves), and they panic! – Naturally they feel that they ... that they are disappearing: there is nothing! There is no consciousness!

1. The occult atmosphere of tantric pujas invokes forces that do not coincide with the completely different atmosphere and the completely different attitude of the supramental yoga.


 

@

November 2, 1958

Last night, I thought, ‘My god! If I have to ...’ Individually, with this one or that one, by selecting the best, I could get somewhere, but this ... this mass.’ Swami had told me so – he told me immediately after his first meditation (collective meditation at the Ashram playground), he told me, ‘The stuff is not good!’ (Mother laughs)

I didn’t press the matter.

All this together constitutes one collective entity, and the individual is lost in it. If I had to deal with this person or that person individually, it would be different. But all together, taking them all together as a collective entity, well, it’s not brilliant.

@

November 4, 1958

(Concerning; the Agenda of August 9, 1958, on the gods of the Puranas)

The gods of the Puranas are merciless gods who respect only power and have nothing of the true love, charity or profound goodness that the Divine has put into the human consciousness – and which compensate psychically for all the outer defects. They themselves have nothing of this, they have no psychic.2 The Puranic gods have no psychic, so they act according to their power. They are restrained only when their power is not all-powerful, that’s all.

But what does Anusuya represent? 3

She is a portrait of the ideal woman according to the Hindu conception, the woman who worships her husband as a god, which means that she sees the Supreme in her husband. And so this woman was much more powerful than all the gods of the Puranas precisely because she had this psychic capacity for total self-giving; and her faith in the Supreme’s presence in her husband gave her a much greater power than that of all the gods.

1. Mother is referring to the Ashram as a collectivity.

2. In Sri Aurobindo’s and Mother’s terminology, ‘psychic’ or ‘psychic being’ means the soul or the portion of the Supreme in man which evolves from life to life until it becomes a fully self-conscious being. The soul is a special capacity or grace of human beings on earth.

3. The film on August 5.


 

The story narrated in the film went like this: Narada, as usual, was having fun. (Narada is a demigod with a divine position – that is, he can communicate with man and with the gods as he pleases, and he serves as an intermediary, but then he likes to have fun!) So he was quarrelling with one of the goddesses, I no longer recall which one, and he told her ... (Ah, yes! The quarrel was with Saraswati.) Saraswati was telling him that knowledge is much greater than love (much greater in that it is much more powerful than love), and he replied to her, ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about! (Mother laughs) Love is much more powerful than knowledge.’ So she challenged him, saying, ‘Well then, prove it to me.’ – ‘I shall prove it to you,’ he replied. And the whole story starts there. He began creating a whole imbroglio on earth just to prove his point.

It was only a film story, but anyway, the goddesses, the three wives of the Trimurti – that is, the consort of Brahma, the consort of Vishnu and the consort of Shiva – joined forces (! ) and tried all kinds of things to foil Narada. I no longer recall the details of the story ... Oh yes, the story begins like this: one of the three – I believe it was Shiva’s consort, Parvati (she was the worst one, by the way!) – was doing her puja. Shiva was in meditation, and she began doing her puja in front of him; she was using an oil lamp for the puja, and the lamp fell down and burned her foot. She cried out because she had burned her foot. So Shiva at once came out of his meditation and said to her, ‘What is it, Devi?’ (laughter) She answered, ‘I burned my foot!’ Then Narada said, ‘Aren’t you ashamed of what you have done? – to make Shiva come out of his meditation simply because you have a little burn on your foot, which cannot even hurt you since you are immortal!’ She became furious and snapped at him, ‘Show me that it can be otherwise!’ Narada replied, ‘I am going to show you what it is to really love one’s husband – you don’t know anything about it!’

Then comes the story of Anusuya and her husband (who is truly a husband ... a very good man, but well, not a god, after all!), who was sleeping with his head resting upon Anusuya’s knees. They had finished their puja (both of them were worshippers of Shiva), and after their puja he was resting, sleeping, with his head on Anusuya’s knees. Meanwhile, the gods had descended upon earth,


particularly this Parvati, and they saw Anusuya like that. Then Parvati exclaimed, ‘This is a good occasion!’ Not very far away a cooking fire was burning. With her power, she sent the fire rolling down onto Anusuya’s feet – which startled her because it hurt. It began to burn; not one cry, not one movement, nothing ... because she didn’t want to awaken her husband. But she began invoking Shiva (Shiva was there). And because she invoked Shiva (it is lovely in the story), because she invoked Shiva, Shiva’s foot began burning! (Mother laughs) Then Narada showed Shiva to Parvati: ‘Look what you are doing; you are burning your husband’s foot!’ So Parvati made the opposite gesture and the fire was put out.

That’s how it went.

Lovely.

Oh, the story was very lovely all along. There was one thing after another, one thing after another, and always the power of Anusuya was greater than the power of the gods. I liked that story very much.

It ended in a ... (Oh, the story was very long; it lasted three hours!) But really, it was lovely throughout. Lovely in the way it showed that the sincerity of love is much more powerful than anything else.

If I were to narrate the whole thing to you, there would be no end to it, but anyway, you get the idea.

***

(Shortly afterwards, the disciple again brings up the topic of August 9, where Mother had said that the gods are ‘a good deal worse than human beings’)

It should be said that we are speaking of the Puranic gods, because the Christians, for example, do not understand what this can mean. They have an entirely different conception of the gods. It could apply to the old Greek mythology, though.

No, not uniquely. It could apply in many other eases. Even if the Christians don’t understand, there are many others who will!

Those who have read a little and who know something other than their little rut will understand.


 

There is something similar between the Puranic gods and the gods of Greek or Egyptian mythology. The gods of Egyptian mythology are terrible beings ... They cut off people’s heads, tear their enemies to pieces! ...

The Greeks were not always tender either!

In Europe and in the modern Western world, it is thought that all these gods – the Greek gods and the ‘pagan’ gods, as they are called – are human fancies, that they are not real beings. To understand, one must know that they are real beings. That is the difference. For Westerners, they are only a figment of the human imagination and don’t correspond to anything real in the universe. But that is a gross mistake.

To understand the workings of universal life, and even those of terrestrial life, one must know that in their own realms these are all living beings, each with his own independent reality. They would exist even if men did not exist! Most of these gods existed before man.

They are beings who belong to the progressive creation of the universe and who have themselves presided over its formation from the most etheric or subtle regions to the most material regions. They are a descent of the divine creative Spirit that came to repair the mischief ... in short, to repair what the Asuras had done. The first makers created disorder and darkness, an unconsciousness, and then it is said that there was a second ‘lineage’ of makers to repair that evil, and the gods gradually descended through realities that were ever more – one can’t say dense because it isn’t really dense, nor can one even say material, since matter as we know it does not exist on these planes – through more and more concrete substances.

All these zones, these planes of reality, received different names and were classified in different ways according to the occult schools, according to the different traditions, but there is an essential similarity, and if we go back far enough into the various traditions, hardly anything but words differ, depending upon the country and the language. The descriptions are quite similar. Moreover, those who climb back up the ladder – or in other words, a human being who, through his occult knowledge, goes out of one of his ‘bodies’ (they are called sheaths in English) and enters into a more subtle body – in order to ACT in a more subtle body – and so forth, twelve times (you make each body come out


from a more material body, leaving the more material body in its corresponding zone, and then go off through successive exteriorizations), what they have seen, what they have discovered and seen through their ascension – whether they are occultists from the Occident or occultists from the Orient – is for the most part analogous in description. They have put different words on it, but the experience is very analogous.

There is the whole Chaldean tradition, and there is also the Vedic tradition, and there was very certainly a tradition anterior to both that split into two branches. Well, all these occult experiences have been the same. Only the description differs depending upon the country and the language. The story of creation is not told from a metaphysical or psychological point of view, but from an objective point of view, and this story is as real as our stories of historical periods. Of course, it’s not the only way of seeing, but it is just as legitimate a way as the others, and in any event, it recognizes the concrete reality of all these divine beings. Even now, the experiences of Western occultists and those of Eastern occultists exhibit great similarities. The only difference is in the way they are expressed, but the manipulation of the forces is the same.

I learned all this through Theon. Probably, he was .. I don’t know if he was Russian or Polish (a Russian or Polish Jew), he never said who he really was or where he was born, nor his age nor anything.

He had assumed two names: one was an Arab name he had adopted when he took refuge in Algeria (I don’t know for what reason). After having worked with Blavatsky and having founded an occult society in Egypt, he went to Algeria, and there he first called himself ‘Aia Aziz’ (a word of Arabic origin meaning ‘the beloved’). Then, when he began setting up his Cosmic Review and his ‘cosmic group,’ he called himself Max Theon, meaning the supreme God (!), the greatest God! And no one knew him by any other name than these two – Aia Aziz or Max Theon.

He had an English wife.

He said he had received initiation in India (he knew a little Sanskrit and the Rig-Veda thoroughly), and then he formulated a tradition which he called the ‘cosmic tradition’ and which he claimed to have received – I don’t know how – from a tradition anterior to that of the Cabala and the Vedas. But there were many things (Madame Theon was the clairvoyant one, and she received visions; oh, she was wonderful!), many things that I myself had seen and known before knowing them which were then substantiated.


 

So personally, I am convinced that there was indeed a tradition anterior to both these traditions containing a knowledge very close to an integral knowledge. Certainly, there is a similarity in the experiences. When I came here and told Sri Aurobindo certain things I knew from the occult standpoint, he always said that it conformed to the Vedic tradition. And as for certain occult practices, he told me that they were entirely tantric – and I knew nothing at that time, absolutely nothing, neither the Vedas nor the Tantras.

So very probably there was a tradition anterior to both. I have recollections (for me, these are always things I have LIVED), very clear, very distinct recollections of a time that was certainly VERY anterior to the Vedic times and to the Cabala, to the Chaldean tradition.

But now, there is only a very small number of people in the West who know that it isn’t merely subjective or imaginative (the result of a more or less unbridled imagination), and that it corresponds to a universal truth.

All these regions, all these realms are filled with beings who exist separately in their own realms, and if you are awake and conscious on a given plane – for example, if while going out of a more material body you awaken on some higher plane – you can have the same relationship with the things and people of that plane as with the things and people of the material world. In other words, there exists an entirely objective relationship that has nothing to do with your own idea of things. Naturally, the resemblance becomes greater and greater as you draw nearer the physical world, the material world, and there is even a moment when one region can act directly upon the other. In any case, in what Sri Aurobindo calls the ‘kingdoms of the overmind,’ you find a concrete reality entirely independent of your personal experience; whenever you come back to it, you again find the same things, with some differences that may have occurred DURING YOUR ABSENCE. And your relationships with the beings there are identical to those you have with physical beings, except that they are more flexible, more supple and more direct (for example, there is a capacity to change the outer form, the visible form, according to your inner state), but you can make an appointment with someone, come to the meeting and again find the same being, with only certain differences that may have occurred during your absence – but it is absolutely concrete, with absolutely concrete results.


 

However, you must have at least a little experience of these things to understand them. Otherwise, if you are convinced that all this is just human fancy or mental formations, if you believe that these gods have such and such a form because men have imagined them to be like that, or that they have such and such defects or qualities because men have envisioned it that way – as with all those who say God is created in the image of man and exists only in human thought – all such people won’t understand, it will seem absolutely ridiculous to them, a kind of madness. You must live a little, touch the subject a little to know how concrete it is.

Naturally, children know a great deal – if they have not been spoiled. There are many children who return to the same place night after night and continue living a life they have begun there. When these faculties are not spoiled with age, they can be preserved within one. There was a time when I was especially interested in dreams, and I could return exactly to the same place and continue some work I had begun there, visit something, for example, or see to something, some work of organization or some discovery or exploration; you go to a certain place, just as you go somewhere in life, then you rest a while, then you go back and begin again – you take up your work just where you left it, and you continue. You also notice that there are things entirely independent of you, certain variations which were not at all created by you and which occurred automatically during your absence.

But then, you must LIVE these experiences yourself; you yourself must see, you must live them with enough sincerity to see (by being sincere and spontaneous) that they are independent of any mental formations. Because one can take the opposite line and make an intensive study of the way mental formations act upon events – which is very interesting. But that’s another field. And this study makes you very careful, very prudent, because you start noticing to what extent you can delude yourself. Therefore, both one and the other, the mental formation and the occult reality, must be studied to see what the ESSENTIAL difference is between them. The one exists in itself, entirely independent of what we think about it, and the other ...

That was a grace. I was given every experience without knowing ANYTHING of what it was all about – my mind was absolutely ... blank. There was no active correspondence in the formative mind. I only knew about what had happened or the laws governing these happenings AFTERWARDS, when I was curious and inquired to


find out what it related to. Then I found out. But otherwise, I didn’t know. So that was the clear proof that these things existed entirely outside of my imagination or thought.

It doesn’t happen very frequently in this world. And that’s why these experiences, which otherwise seem quite natural, quite obvious, appear to be ... extravagant fancies to people who know nothing.

But if you transposed this to France, to the West, unless you frequent occult circles, people would look at you with ... And behind your back, they would say, ‘That person is cracked!’

***

(Later, the disciple asks Mother for some clarification on the “essential difference” between the occult reality and mental formations)

Once you have worked in this field, you realize that when you have studied a subject, when you have mentally understood something, it gives a special tonality to the experience. The experience may be quite spontaneous and sincere, but the simple fact of having known this subject and of having studied it gives a particular tonality; on the other hand, if you have learned nothing of the subject, if you know nothing at all, well, when the experience comes, the notation of it is entirely spontaneous and sincere. It can be more or less adequate, but it is not the result of a former mental formation.

What happened in my life is that I never studied or knew things until AFTER having the experience – only BECAUSE OF the experience and because I wanted to understand it would I study things related to it.

It was the same thing for visions of past lives. I knew NOTHING when I would have the experience, not even the possibility of past lives, and only after having had the experience would I study the question and, for example, even verify certain historical facts that had occurred in my vision but about which I had no prior knowledge.

***


 

(Then the disciple asks for details on going out of each successive body into the next, more subtle one)

There are subtle bodies and subtle worlds that correspond to these bodies; it is what the psychological method calls ‘states of consciousness,’ but these states of consciousness really correspond to worlds. The occult process consists in becoming aware of these various inner states of being, or subtle bodies, and of mastering them sufficiently to be able to make one come out of the other, successively. For there is a whole hierarchy of increasing subtleties – or decreasing, depending upon the direction – and the occult process consists in making a more subtle body come out from a denser body, and so forth, right to the most ethereal regions. You go out through successive exteriorizations into more and more subtle bodies or worlds. Each time it is rather like passing into another dimension. In fact, the fourth dimension of the physicists is only the scientific transcription of an occult knowledge.

To give another comparison, it could be said that the physical body is at the center – it is the most material and the most condensed, as well as the smallest – and the more subtle inner bodies increasingly overlap the limits of this central physical body; they pass through it and extend further and further out, like water evaporating from a porous vase which creates a kind of steam all around it. And the more subtle it is, the more its extension tends to fuse with that of the universe: you finally become universal. It is an entirely concrete process that makes the invisible worlds an objective experience and even allows you to act in those worlds.

@

Undated 1958

When you are exteriorized during sleep and conscious in the vital world, you can live a vital life as conscious as the physical life. I have known people who had this capacity and who were so intensely interested in their experiences in the vital world that they returned only with regret to their bodies. If you are conscious and master of yourself in the vital world and if you possess a certain power there, the circumstances are marvelous, infinitely more varied and more beautiful than in the physical world.


 

Suppose, for example, that you are very tired and need to rest. If you know how to exteriorize yourself and consciously enter into the vital world, you will find there a region like a miraculous virgin forest with all the splendors of a rich and harmonious vegetation, magnificent mirrors of water and an atmosphere so filled with this living, vibrant vitality of the plants!

There is such a life there, such a beauty, so much richness and plenitude that you awaken full of force and with an absolutely wonderful feeling of energy, even if you remain there but a minute.

And it is so objective, so concrete! I have taken people there, without telling them what it was all about, and they were able to describe the place exactly as I myself would.

There are regions like that – not very many, but some.

On the other hand, there are many unpleasant places in the vital world where it is better not to go. Those who can easily learn to go out of their bodies should do so with a great deal of caution. I could never teach this to many people, for were they to do it alone, it would mean abandoning them, sometimes without protection, to experiences that can be extremely harmful.

The vital world is a world of extremes. If, for example, you eat a bunch of grapes in the vital world, you feel so nourished that you can remain without hunger for thirty-six hours. But you can also run into things and enter places that will wrest all the energy from you in a minute and at times leave you ill or even disabled.

I knew an absolutely exceptional woman’ from the occult point of view who had just such an accident in the vital world. While trying to wrest someone she valued from the beings of the vital world, she received such a blow to one eye that she lost it.

Without going that far, it may happen that you meet with accidents in the vital world that leave their trace for hours after awakening.

1. Madame Theon.


 

@

November 8, 1958

I found my message for the 1st of January ... It was quite unforeseen. Yesterday morning, I thought, ‘All the same, I have to find my message, but what?’ I was absolutely ... like that, neutral, nothing. Then yesterday evening at the class (of Friday, November 7) I noticed that these children who had had a whole week to prepare their questions on the text had not found a single one! A terrible lethargy! A total lack of interest. And when I had finished speaking, I thought to myself, ‘But what IS there in these people who are interested in nothing but their personal little affairs?’ So I began descending into their mental atmosphere, in search of the little light, of that which responds ... And it literally pulled me downwards as into a hole, but in such a material way; my hand, which was on the arm of the chair, began slipping down, my other hand went like this (to the ground), my head, too! I thought it was going to touch my knees!

And I had the impression ... It was not an impression – I saw it. I was descending into a crevasse between two steep rocks, rocks that appeared to be made of something harder than basalt, BLACK, but metallic at the same time, with such sharp edges – it seemed that a mere touch would lacerate you. It appeared endless and bottomless, and it kept getting narrower, narrower and narrower, narrower and narrower, like a funnel, so narrow that there was almost no more room – not even for the consciousness – to pass through. And the bottom was invisible, a black hole. And it went down, down, down, like that, without air, without light, except for a sort of glimmer that enabled me to make out the rock edges. They seemed to be cut so steeply, so sharply ... Finally, when my head began touching my knees, I asked myself, ‘But what is there at the bottom of this ... this hole?’

And as soon as I had uttered, ‘What is there at the bottom of this hole?’ I seemed to touch a spring that was in the very depths – a spring I didn’t see but that acted instantly with a tremendous power – and it cast me up forthwith, hurled me out of this crevasse into ... (arms extended, motionless) a formless, limitless vast which was infinitely comfortable – not exactly warm, but it gave a feeling of ease and of an intimate warmth.


 

And it was all-powerful, with an infinite richness. It did not have ... no, it didn’t have any kind of form, and it had no limits (naturally, as I was identified with it I knew there was neither limit nor form). It was as if (because it was not visible), as if this vast were made of countless, imperceptible points – points that occupied no place in space (there was no sense of space), that were of a deep warm gold – but this is only a feeling, a transcription. And all this was absolutely LIVING, living with a power that seemed infinite. And yet motionless.

It lasted for quite some time, for the rest of the meditation.

It seemed to contain a whole wealth of possibilities, and all this that was formless had the power to become form.

At the time, I wondered what it meant. Later, of course, I found out, and finally this morning, I said to myself, ‘Ah, so that’s it! It came to give me my message for the new year!’ Then I transcribed the experience – it can’t be described, of course, for it was indescribable; it was a psychological phenomenon and the form it took was only a way of describing the psychological state to oneself. Here is what I wrote down, obviously in a mental way, and I am thinking of using it as my message.

There was a hesitation in the expression, so I brought the paper and I want us to decide upon the final text together.

I have not described anything. I have only stated a fact (Mother reads):

‘At the very bottom of the inconscience most hard and rigid and narrow and stifling, I struck upon an almighty spring that cast me up forthwith into a form­less, limitless Vast, generator of all creation.’

And it is again one more proof. The experience was absolutely ... the English word genuine says it.

Genuine and spontaneous?

Yes, it was not a willed experience, for I had not decided I would do this. It did not correspond to an inner attitude. In a meditation, one can decide, ‘I will meditate on this or on that or on something else – I will do this or that.’ For meditations, I usually have a kind of inner (or higher) perception of what has to be done, and I do it. But it was not that way. I had decided: nothing, to decide nothing, to be ‘like that’ (gesture of turning upwards).


 

And then it happened.

Suddenly, while I was speaking (it was while I was speaking), I felt, ‘Well really, can anything be done with such material?’ Then, quite naturally, when I stopped speaking, oh! – I felt that I was being pulled! Then I understood. Because I had asked myself the question, ‘But what is HAPPENING in there behind all those forms? ...’ I can’t say that I was annoyed, but I said to myself, ‘Well really, this has to be shaken up a bit!’ And just as I had finished, something pulled me – it pulled me out of my body, I was literally pulled out of my body.

And then, down into this hole ... I still see what I saw then, this crevasse between two rocks. The sky was not visible, but on the rock summits I saw ... something like the reflection of a glimmer – a glimmer – coming from ‘something’ beyond, which (laughing) must have been the sky! But it was invisible. And as I descended, as if I were sliding down the face of this crevasse, I saw the rock edges; and they were really black rocks, as if cut with a chisel, cuts so fresh that they glistened, with edges as sharp as knives. There was one here, one there, another there, everywhere, all around. And I was being pulled, pulled, pulled, I went down and down and down – there was no end to it, and it was becoming more and more compressing.’ It went down and down ...

And so, physically, the body followed. My body has been taught to express the inner experience to a certain extent. In the body there is the body-force or the body-form or the body-spirit (according to the different schools, it bears a different name), and this is what leaves the body last when one dies, usually taking a period of seven days to leave.[3] With special training, it can acquire a conscious life – independent and conscious – to such a degree that not only in a state of trance (in trance, it frequently happens that one can speak and move if one is slightly trained or educated), but even in a cataleptic state it can produce sounds and even make the body move. Thus, through training, the body begins to have somnambulistic capacities – not an ordinary somnambulism, but it can live an autonomous life.’ This is what took place, yesterday evening it was like that – I had gone out of my body, but my body was participating. And then I was pulled downwards: my hand, which had been on the arm of the chair, slipped down, then the other hand, then my head was almost touching my knees! (The consciousness was elsewhere, I saw it from outside – it was not that I didn’t know what I was doing, I saw it from outside.) So I said, ‘In any case, this has to stop somewhere because if it continues, my head (laughing) is going to be on the ground!’ And I thought, ‘But what is there at the bottom of this hole? ... ‘

1. Later Mother added, ‘stifling, suffocating.’

2.retains a connection with the being that has gone out, and what has gone out has a power over it – which is precisely why one isn’t completely dead! The being that has gone out also has the power to make the body move.’


 

Scarcely had these words been formulated when there I was, at the bottom of the hole! And it was absolutely as if a tremendous, almighty spring were there, and then ... (Mother hits the table) vrrrm! I was cast out of the abyss into a vastness. My body immediately sat straight up, head on high, following the movement. If someone had been watching, this is what he would have seen: in a single bound, vrrrm! Straight up, to the maximum, my head on high.

And I followed all this without objectifying it in the least; I was not aware of what it was nor of what was happening, nor of any explanation at all, nothing: it was ‘like that.’ I was living it, that’s all. The experience was absolutely spontaneous. And after this rather ... painful descent, phew! – there was a kind of super-comfort. I can’t explain it otherwise, an ease,2 but an ease ... to the utmost. A perfect immobility in a sense of eternity – but with an extraordinary INTENSITY of movement and life! An inner intensity, unmanifested; it was within, self-contained. And motionless (had there been an outside, it would have been motionless in relation to that) and it was in a ... life so immeasurable that it can only be expressed metaphorically as infinite. And with an intensity, a POWER, a force ... and a peace – the peace of eternity. A silence, a calm. A POWER capable of ... of EVERYTHING. Everything.

And I was not imagining nor objectifying it; I was living it with ease – with a great ease. And it lasted until the end of the meditation. When it gradually began fading, I stopped the meditation and left.

1. Later, Mother explained: ‘I don’t mean an autonomous will (it is the being that has gone out which has the power to make the body move), it has only acquired, through training, the capacity to express the will of the being with which it has kept a relationship through this link of the body-spirit which is broken only at death.’

2. Original English.


 

Later, after I returned (to the Ashram), I wondered, ‘What was that? What does it signify?’ Then I understood.

That’s all.

Now I am going to write it down clearly. Hand me a piece of paper.

(Mother begins recopying her message)

‘At the very bottom of the inconscience most hard and rigid ...’ Because generally, the inconscience gives the impression, precisely, of something amorphous, inert, formless, drab and gray (when formerly I entered the zones of the inconscient, that was the first thing I encountered). But this was an inconscience ... it was hard, rigid, COAGULATED, as if coagulated to resist: all effort slides off it, doesn’t touch it, cannot penetrate it. So I am putting,’ ... most hard and rigid and narrow’ (the idea of something that compresses, compresses, compresses you) ‘and stifling’ – yes, stifling is the word.

‘ ... I struck upon an almighty spring that cast me up forthwith into a formless, limitless vast, generator of all creation.’ It was ... yes, I have the feeling that it was not the ordinary creation, the primordial creation, but the SUPRAMENTAL creation, for it bore no similarity to the experience of returning to the Supreme, the origin of everything. I had utterly the feeling of being cast into the origin of the supramental creation – something that is already (how can it be expressed?) objectified from the Supreme, with the explicit goal of the supramental creation.

That was my feeling.

I don’t think I am mistaken, for there was such a superabundant feeling of power, of warmth, of gold ... It was not fluid, it was like a powdering. And each of these things (they cannot be called specks or fragments, nor even points, unless you understand it in the mathematical sense, a point that occupies no space) was something equivalent to a mathematical point, but like living gold, a powdering of warm gold. I cannot say it was sparkling, I cannot say it was dark, nor was it made of light, either: a multitude of tiny points of gold, nothing but that. They seemed to be touching my eyes, my face ... and with such an inherent power and warmth – it was a splendor! And then, at the same time, the feeling of a plenitude, the PEACE of omnipotence ... It was rich, it was full. It was movement at its ultimate, infinitely swifter than


all one can imagine, and at the same time it was absolute peace, perfect tranquillity.

(Mother resumes her message)

I do not want to put the word ... Unless, instead of putting generator of all creation,’ I put ‘of the new creation ...’ Oh, but then it becomes absolutely overwhelming! It is THAT, in fact. It is that. But is it time to say so? I don’t know ... Generator of the new creation ...

@

November 11, 1958

(Mother arrives with a new change in her message for January 1, 1959: instead of ‘an almighty spring that cast me up forthwith into a formless, limitless Vast, generator of the new world,’ Mother puts ‘a formless, limitless Vast vibrating with the seeds of a new world’)

The objectification of the experience came progressively, as always happens to me. When I have the experience, I am absolutely ‘blank,’ like a newborn baby to whom things come just ‘like that.’ I don’t know what is happening, and I expect nothing. How much time it has taken me to learn this!

There is no preliminary thought, preliminary knowledge, preliminary will: all those things do not exist. I am only like a mirror receiving the experience, the simplicity of a little child learning life. It is like that. And it is the gift of the Grace, truly the Grace: in the face of the experience, the simplicity of a little child just born. And it is spontaneously so, but deliberately too; in other words, during the experience I am very careful not to watch myself having the experience so that no previous knowledge intervenes. Only afterwards do I see. It is not a mental construction, nor does it come from something higher than the mind (it is not even a knowledge by identity that makes me see things); no, the body (when the


experience is in the body) is ... like that, what in English is called blank. As if it had just been born, as if just then it were being born with the experience.

And only little by little, little by little, is this experience put in the presence of any previous knowledge. Thus, its explanation and its evaluation come about progressively.

It is indispensable if one doesn’t want to be arbitrary.

So in fact, only the final wording is correct, but from the point of view of the ‘historical’ unfolding, it is interesting to observe the passage. It was exactly the same phenomenon for the experience of the Supramental Manifestation. Both these things, the experience of November 7 and of the Supramental, occurred in the same way, identically: I WAS the experience, and nothing else. Nothing but the experience at the time it was occurring. And only slowly, while coming out of it, did the previous knowledge, the previous experiences, all the accumulation of what had come before, examine it and put it in its place.

This is why I arrive at a verbal expression progressively, gropingly; these are not literary gropings – it is aimed at being precise, specific and concise at the same time.

When I write something, I don’t expect people to understand it, but I try to avoid the least possible distortion of the experience or the image in this kind of ‘shrinking’ towards expression.

What is this spring?

The spring? It means exactly this: in the deepest depths of the Inconscient is the supreme spring that makes us touch the Supreme. It is like the Supreme making us touch the Supreme: that is the almighty spring. When you arrive at the very bottom of the Inconscient, you touch the Supreme.

So that is the shortest path!

Not the shortest path! Already for me, it was hard to touch the bottom of the Inconscient, but for others it would take an eternity.

It is something similar to what Sri Aurobindo has written in ‘A God’s Labour.’

Was it the Supreme at the very bottom of the Inconscient who cast you up directly to the Supreme?


 

Yes. Because at the very bottom of the Inconscient is the Supreme. It is the same idea as the highest height touching the deepest depth. The universe is like a circle – it is represented by the serpent biting its tail, its head touching its tail. It means that the supreme height touches the most material matter, without any intermediary. I have already said this several times. But that was the experience. I didn’t know what was happening. I expected nothing and ... it was stupendous – in a single bound, I sprang up! If someone had had his eyes open, I assure you he would have had to laugh: I was bent over, like this, more and more, more and more, more and more, my head was just about to touch my knees when suddenly – vrrrm! Straight, straight up, my head upright in a single bound!

But as soon as you want to express it, it escapes like water running through your fingers; all the fluidity is lost, it evaporates. A rather vague, poetic or artistic expression is much truer, much nearer to the truth – something hazy, nebulous, undefined. Something not concretized like a rigid mental expression – this rigidity that the mind has introduced right down into the Inconscient.

This vision of the Inconscient ... (Mother remains gazing for a moment) it was the MENTAL Inconscient. Because the starting point was mental. A special Inconscient – rigid, hard, resistant – with all that the mind has brought into our consciousness. But it was far worse, far worse than a purely material Inconscient! A ‘mentalized’ Inconscient, as it were. All this rigidity, this hardness, this narrowness, this fixity – a FIXITY – comes from the presence of the mind in creation. When the mind was not manifested, the Inconscient was not like that! It was formless and had the plasticity of something that is formless – the plasticity has gone.

It is a terrible image of the Mind’s action in the Inconscient.

It has made the Inconscient aggressive – it was not so before. Aggressive, resistant, OBSTINATE. That was not there before.

Yes, that’s it. It was not an ‘original’ Inconscient. It was a mentalized Inconscient. With all that the mind has brought in in the way of OPPOSITION – of resistance, hardness, rigidity.

It would be interesting to mention this.

Because the starting point, precisely, was to look into the mental unconsciousness of these people. It was the mental Inconscient. Well, the mental Inconscient REFUSES to change – which is not true of the other one; the other is nothing, it doesn’t exist,


it is not organized in any way, it has no way of being, whereas this one is an ORGANIZED Inconscient – organized by a beginning mental influence. A hundred times worse!

This is a very interesting point to note.

It is not the experience, which I had once before, of the original Inconscient. The experience I had this time is of the Inconscient that has undergone the influence of the Mind in creation. It has become ... It has become a FAR greater obstacle than before. Before, it did not even have the power to resist, it had nothing, it was truly unconscious. Now it is an Inconscient organized in its refusal to change!

It was a very new experience.

That’s where we are.

And this almighty spring is the perfect image of what is happening – what must happen, what will happen – FOR EVERYONE: suddenly, one is cast forth into the vast.

@

November 14, 1958

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, November 14, 1958

Mother,

I feel disguised.’ And I detest hypocrisy – I have many faults, but not that one.

So I believe it would be better for me to leave.

Through my friends in Hyderabad, I can contact some people who are doing business in the forests of the Belgian Congo. I want to go there, alone and far away from everything.

But there is always this wretched question of money. I need it to leave and to pay for the journey. Afterwards, I will manage. Anyway, it is all the same to me; I am not afraid of anything any longer.

I. Due to the orange robes of the sannyasi.


 

It seems to me that the sooner I leave the better, because of this hypocrisy I detest.’

Signed: Satprem

(Mother’s reply)

Friday evening, November 14, 1958

Satprem,

One does not cure hypocrisy by pulling down below what is already above – but by lifting upwards what is still down below. To yield to an impulse of revolt is a defeat and a cowardice unworthy of a soul like yours.

Do not flee the difficulty, face it courageously and carry home the victory.

My love is with you.

Signed: Mother

@

November 15, 1958

(Concerning an experience Mother had on November 13 in regard to the disciple’s difficulties)

Truly speaking, perhaps one is never rid of the hostile forces as long as one has not permanently emerged into the Light, above the lower hemisphere. There, the term ‘hostile forces’ loses its meaning; they become only forces of progress, they force you to progress. But to see things in this way, you have to get out of the lower hemisphere, for below, they are very real in their opposition to the divine plan.

It was said in the ancient traditions that one could not live for more than twenty days in this higher state without leaving one’s body and returning to the supreme Origin. Now this is no longer true.

1. Shortly afterwards, in the last days of November, Satprem would leave the Ashram once again.


 

It is precisely this state of perfect Harmony beyond all attacks that will become possible with the supramental realization. It is what all those who are destined for the supramental transformation will realize. The hostile forces know it well; in the supramental world, they will automatically disappear. Having no more utility, they will be dissolved without our having to do anything, simply through the presence of the supramental force. So now they are being unleashed with a fury in a negation of everything, everything.

The link between the two worlds has not yet been built, but it is in the process of being built; this was the meaning of the experience of February 3, 1958’: to build a link between the two worlds. For both worlds are indeed there – not one above the other, but within each other, in two different dimensions. Only, there is no communication between them; they overlap, as it were, without being connected. In the experience of February 3, I saw certain people from here (and from elsewhere) who already belong to the supramental world in a part of their being, but there is no connection, no link. But now the hour has come in universal history for this link to be built.

What is the relationship between this experience of February 3 and that of November 7 (the almighty spring)? Is what you found in the depths of the Inconscient this same Supramental?

The experience of November 7 was a further step in the building of the link between the two worlds. Where I was cast was clearly into the origin of the supramental creation – all this warm gold, this tremendous living power, this sovereign peace. And once again I saw that the values governing the supramental world have nothing to do with our values here, even the values of our highest wisdom, even those we consider the most divine when we live constantly in a divine Presence: it is utterly different.

Not only in our state of adoration and surrender to the Supreme, but even in our state of identification, the QUALITY of the identification is different depending upon whether we are on this side, progressing in this hemisphere, or have passed to the other side and have emerged into the other world, the other hemisphere, the higher hemisphere.

1. The Supramental Ship.


 

The quality or the kind of relationship I had with the Supreme at that moment was entirely different from the one we have here – even the identification had a different quality. One can very well understand that all the lower movements are different but this identification by which the Supreme governs and lives in us was the summit of our experience here – well, the way He governs and lives is different depending on whether we are in this hemisphere here or in the supramental life. And at that moment (the experience of November 13), what made the experience so intense was that I came to perceive vaguely both these states of consciousness at once. It was almost as if the Supreme Himself were different, or our experience of Him. And yet, in both cases, it was a contact with the Supreme. It is probably how we perceive Him or the way in which we translate it that differs, but the fact is that the quality of the experience is different.

In the other hemisphere, there is an intensity and a plenitude which are translated by a power different from the one here. How can I formulate it? – I cannot.

The quality of the consciousness itself seems to change. It is not something higher than the summit we can attain here, it is not one MORE rung, not that. Here, we have reached the end, the summit, but ... it’s the quality that is different. The quality, in the sense that a fullness, a richness, a power is there (this is a translation, you see, in our way), but there is a ‘something’ that ... that eludes us. It is truly a new reversal of consciousness.

When we begin living the spiritual life, a reversal of consciousness takes place which for us is the proof that we have entered the spiritual life; well, yet another occurs when we enter the supramental world.

And probably each time a new world opens up, there will again be a new reversal. This is why even our spiritual life, which is such a total reversal compared to ordinary life, seems something still so ... so totally different when compared to this supramental consciousness that the values are almost opposite.

It can be expressed in this way (but it’s quite approximate, more than diminished or deformed): it’s as if our entire spiritual life were made of silver, whereas the supramental life is made of gold – as if our entire spiritual life here were a vibration of silver, not cold but simply a light, a light that goes right to the summit, an absolutely pure light, pure and intense; but in the other, in the supramental world, there is a richness and a power that make all


the difference. This whole spiritual life of the psychic being and of all our present consciousness that appears so warm, so full, so wonderful, so luminous to the ordinary consciousness, well, all this splendor seems poor in comparison to the splendor of the new world.

I can explain the phenomenon like this: successive reversals such that an EVER NEW richness of creation will take place from stage to stage, making whatever came before seem so poor in comparison. What to us seems supremely rich compared to our ordinary life, appears so poor compared to this new reversal of consciousness. Such was my experience.

Last night, my effort to understand what was missing in order to help you completely and truly come out of the difficulty reminded me of what I said the other day about Power, the transforming power, the true realizing power, the supramental power. When you enter that, when you suddenly surge into that Thing, then you see – you see that it is truly almighty in comparison to what we are here. So once again, I touched it, I experienced both states simultaneously.

But as long as this is not an accomplished fact, it will still be a progression – a progression, an ascension; you gain a little, you gain some ground, you rise higher and higher. But as long as the new reversal has not taken place, it’s as if everything had still to be done. It is a repetition of the experience below, reproduced above.

(silence)

And each time, you have the feeling of having lived on the surface of things. It’s a feeling that is repeated over and over again. With each new conquest, you feel that until then you had lived only on the surface of things – on the surface of the realization, on the surface of ‘surrender,’ on the surface of power. It was only the surface of things, the surface of the experience. Behind the surface, there is a depth, and only when one enters into this depth does one touch the True Thing. And it is the same experience each time: what seemed a depth becomes the surface. A surface, with all that it entails of inaccuracy, yes, of artificiality – artificial – an artificial transcription. It feels like something not really alive, a copy, an imitation: it’s an image, a reflection, but not THE Thing itself. You step into another zone and you feel you have uncovered the Source and the Power and the Truth of things; then this


source and power and truth in turn become an appearance, an imitation, a mere transcription in comparison to something concrete: the new realization.

(silence)

Meanwhile, we should acknowledge that we don’t have the key, it is not yet in our hands. Or rather, we know quite well where it is, and there is only one thing to do: the perfect ‘surrender’ Sri Aurobindo speaks of, the total surrender to the divine Will whatever happens, even in the dark of night.

There is night and sun, night and sun, and night again, many nights, but one must cling to this will for ‘surrender,’ cling as through a storm, and put everything into the hands of the Supreme Lord. Until the day when the Sun shall shine forever, the day of total Victory.

@

November 20, 1958

(Mother tries to find the origin of the disciple’s difficulties)

I don’t have all the information, otherwise certainly ... Two things made me see ... I saw them the other day. First of all, when you didn’t understand my letter, for I wrote it to a part of you that without any doubt should have understood; I was referring to something other than what is seen and known by this part of you which is ... this center, this knot of revolt that seems to resist everything, that really remains knotted, in spite of your experiences and the strides you have made, as well as your openings. And what made me see is especially the fact that it resists experiences, it is not touched by experiences; this was the point that did not understand what I wrote. Because the part of you that had the experience must necessarily understand what I wrote, without the shadow of a doubt.

Time is needed ...


 

I had two visions which are certainly related to this. The most recent one was yesterday, and it concerned a past life in India. It is something that took place in India about one thousand years ago, perhaps a little more (I am not yet sure about this). And it contains both things. It’s strange, both things together – the origin of the power of realization in this life and the obstacle to be conquered.

I had the last vision yesterday evening. You were much taller than you are now; you were wearing the orange robe, and you were backed up against a door of bronze, a bronze door like the door of a temple or a palace ... but at the same time it was symbolic (it was a fact, it actually took place like this, but at the same time it was symbolic). And ... unfortunately, it didn’t last because I was disturbed. But it contained the key.

I was VERY HAPPY with the vision, for there was a great POWER, though it was rather ... terrible. But it was magnificent. When I saw that, I ... This vision was given to me because I had concentrated with a will to find the solution, a true solution, an enduring and permanent solution – that is, I had this spontaneous gratitude which goes out to the Grace when it brings some effective help. Only, what followed was interrupted by someone who came to call me and that cut it short, but it will return.

But now I KNOW – before I did not know. The other morning I saw, and I was told very clearly that it was a karma’ to be worked out; so then I told you, but at the time I didn’t know what it was.

And I saw that with the new Power, the supramental power ... That is something absolutely new ... It used to be thought that nothing had the power to eliminate the consequences of karma and that only by exhausting it through a series of actions could its consequences be transformed ... exhausted, eliminated. But I KNOW that with the supramental power it can be done without following all the steps of the process.

In any event, one point is clear: it is something that happened in India, and the origin of the karma and the remedy of the karma go together. And it has to do with this initiation you received in Rameswaram. 2

So the difficulty and the victory go together. It’s very interesting.

1. Karma: positive (or negative) consequences of actions performed in past lives (every action is endowed with a self-perpetuating dynamism).

2. A temple-island in southern India where Satprem became a sannyasi.


 

But what had I done in that life? ... What did I do? WHAT?!?

Yes, that’s the point. I think I know, but I don’t want to say anything without being sure.

(silence)

It is good that it comes in stages.

(silence)

What is needed – what is needed is simply endurance, the capacity to hold on, which means to stay still within. Not to yield to ... not to yield when you feel within yourself, ‘I can’t bear it.’

And it seems to me that it’s relatively easier than when you have to confront the thing all alone.

If you can ... when the attack comes, if you can cling to something that knows, or to something in you that has had the experience, and if you can hold onto that memory, even if it is only a memory, and cling to that in spite of all that denies and revolts ... Above all not ... To keep your head as still as possible. And not follow the movement, not succumb to the vibration.

Because from what I have seen and from what I was told, I am sure that it is decisive, that what is offered to you is the possibility of a decisive victory, which means that it will no longer recur in the same way.

There is such an abyss between what one truly is and what we are that at times it is dizzying. But one must not let oneself become dizzy. One must not yield. One must remain like a rock until it passes.

@

November 22, 1958

Even at a very young age, I had a kind of intuition of my destiny. I felt that something in me had to be exhausted, or that I had to exhaust myself. I don’t know, as though I had to descend into the depths of the night to find the thing. I thought it was the concentration camps. Perhaps this was still not deep enough ... Do you see any meaning in all this?


 

It can hardly be formulated; these are merely impressions that follow one another. I know that when you thought of leaving with Swami,’ I saw that a door was opening, that it was the truth, that this was IT.

My immediate impression was that you were being put in direct contact with this ... this sort of Fatality that here they call karma, which is the consequence ... yes, something that must be exhausted, something that remains in the consciousness.

This is how it works: the psychic being passes from one life to another, but there are cases in which the psychic incarnates in order to ... to work out2 ... to pass through a certain experience, to learn a certain thing, to develop a certain thing through a certain experience. And so in this life, in the life where the experience is to be made, it can happen (there may be more than one reason) that the soul does not come down accurately in the place it should have, some shift or other may occur, a set of contrary circumstances – this happens sometimes – and then the incarnation miscarries entirely and the soul leaves. But in other cases, the soul is simply placed in the impossibility of doing exactly what it wants and it finds itself swept away by ... unfortunate circumstances. Not only unfortunate from an objective standpoint, but unfortunate for its own development, and then that creates in it the necessity to begin the experience all over again, and in much more difficult conditions.

And if – it can happen – if the second attempt also miscarries, if the conditions make the experience the soul is seeking still more difficult ... for example, if one is in a body with an inadequate will or some distortion in the thought, or an egoism too ... too hardened, and it ends in suicide, it is dreadful. I have seen this many times, it creates a dreadful karma that can be repeated for lifetimes on end before the soul can conquer it and manage to do what it wants. And each time, the conditions become more difficult, each time it requires a still greater effort. And people who know this say, ‘You cannot get out!’ In fact, it is this kind of desire to escape which pushes you into more foolish things3 that result in a still greater accumulation of difficulty. There are moments – moments and circumstances – when no one is there to help you, and then things become so ... horrible, the circumstances become so abominable.

1. The first tantric guru whom the disciple joined in Ceylon and with whom he travelled in the Himalayas.

2. Original English.

3. Mother specified: ‘The subconscious memory of the past creates a kind of irresistible desire to escape from the difficulty, and you recommence the same foolishness, or an even greater foolishness.’


 

But if the soul has had but ONE call, but ONE contact with the Grace, then in your next life you are put in the conditions, once, whereby EVERYTHING can be swept away at one stroke. And at this present moment on earth, you cannot imagine the number of people I have met – that is, the number of souls – who had reached out towards this possibility with such an intensity – and they have all found themselves on my path.

At that point, sometimes a great courage is needed, sometimes a great endurance is needed, sometimes a true love is enough, sometimes, oh! if only faith were there, one thing, one tiny little thing is enough, and ... everything can be swept away. I have done it often; there are times when I have failed. But more often than not I have been able to remove it. But then, what is needed is a great, stoical courage or a capacity to endure and to SEE IT THROUGH. The resistance (especially in cases of former suicide), the resistance to the temptation of renewing this stupidity creates a terrible formation. Or else this habit of fleeing when suffering comes: flee, flee, instead of ... absorbing the difficulty, holding on.

But just this, a faith in the Grace, or an awareness of the Grace, or the intensity of the call, or else naturally the response – the response, the thing that opens, that breaks – the response to this marvelous love of the Grace.

It is difficult without a strong will; and above all, above all the capacity to resist the temptation, which was the fatal temptation throughout all one’s lives – because its power builds up. Each defeat gives it renewed force. But a tiny victory can dissolve it.

Oh, the most terrible of all is when one does not have the strength, the courage, something indomitable! How many times do they come to tell me, ‘I want to die, I want to flee, I want to die.’ – I say, ‘But die, then, die to yourself! No one is asking you to let your ego survive! Die to yourself since you want to die! Have that courage, the true courage, to die to your egoism.’

But because it is karma, one must, one must DO something oneself. Karma is the construction of the ego; the ego MUST DO something, everything cannot be done for it. This is it, THIS is the thing: karma is the result of the ego’s actions, and only when the ego abdicates is the karma dissolved. One can help it along,


one can assist it, give it strength, bestow courage upon it, but the ego must then make use of it.

(silence)

So this is what I saw for you: that the crystallization of this karma occurred during a life in India in which you were put in the presence of the possibility of liberation and ... I don’t know the details; I don’t know the material facts at all. So far, I know nothing, I have only had a vision. I saw you there, as I told you, taller than you are now, in an Indian body, north Indian, for it was not dark but fair. But there was a HARDNESS in the being, the hardness born of a kind of despair mixed with rebellion, incomprehension and an ego that resists. That is all I know. The image was of you backed up against a bronze door: BACKED UP against it. I didn’t see what had caused it. As I told you, something interrupted me, so I was unable to follow it.

The other indication is what I told you the other day. When you thought of leaving to join Swami, I immediately saw a stream of light: Ah, the road is opening up! So I said, ‘It is good.’ And while you were away in Ceylon, I followed you from day to day. You called much more than the second time, when you were in the Himalayas; and with the physical hardships you were undergoing, I was very, very close to you – I constantly felt what was happening.

And then I saw a GREAT light, like a glory, when you were at Rameswaram. A great light. And when you returned here, this light was upon you, very strong and imposing. But at the same time, I felt that it needed protecting – to be shielded, protected – that it was not yet established. Established, ready to resist all that decomposes an experience. I would have liked to have kept you apart, under a glass case, but then I saw that this would have drawbacks as well as advantages. Also, I liked the way you wanted to fight against an uncomprehending reception due to your orange robes and your shaved head. Of course, it was a much shorter path than the other, but it was more difficult.

And then, more and more, I felt that if what I saw, as I saw it, could be realized ... I saw two things: a journey – not at all a pilgrimage as it is commonly understood – a journey towards solitude in arduous conditions, and a sojourn in a very severe solitude, facing the mountains, in arduous physical conditions. The contact with this majesty of Nature has a great influence


upon the ego at certain moments: it has the power to dissolve it. But all this complication, all these organized pilgrimages, all that ... it brings in the whole petty side of human life which spoils everything ...

Yes, that whole journey was odious ...

... which spoils everything.

The other thing was the tantric initiation. But I wanted the conditions of this initiation to be at least as favorable as those in Rameswaram, by which I mean conducted by someone very capable and as far as possible free from the whole formalistic and external side. A TRUE initiation – someone who would be capable of pulling down the Power and putting you in conditions rigorous enough for you to be able to hold this Power, to receive it and hold it.

As soon as you had left, and since I was following you, I saw that nothing of the kind was going to happen, but rather something very superficial which would not be of much use. And when I received your letters and saw that you were in difficulty, I did something. There are places that are favorable for occult experiences. Benares is one of these places, the atmosphere there is filled with vibrations of occult forces, and if one has the slightest capacity, it spontaneously develops there, in the same way that a spiritual aspiration develops very strongly and spontaneously as soon as one lands in India. These are Graces. Graces, because it is the destiny of the country, it has been so throughout its history, and because India has always been turned much more towards the heights and the inner depths than towards the outer world. Now, it is in the process of losing all that and wallowing in the mud, but that’s another story ... it was like that and it is still like that. And in fact, when you returned from Rameswaram with your robes, I saw with much satisfaction that there was still a GREAT dignity and a GREAT sincerity in this endeavor of the Sannyasis towards the higher life and in the self-giving of a certain number of people to realize this higher life. When you returned, it had become a very concrete and a very real thing that immediately commanded respect. Before, I had seen only a copy, an imitation, an hypocrisy, a pretention – nothing that was really lived. But then, I saw that it was true, that it was lived, that it was real and that it was still India’s great heritage. I don’t believe it is very prevalent now, but in any case, it is still there, and as I told you,


it commands respect. And then, as I felt you in difficulty and as the outer conditions were not only veiling but spoiling the inner, well, on that day I wrote you a short note – I no longer recall when it was exactly, but I wrote you just a word or two, which I put in an envelope and sent you – I concentrated very strongly upon those few words and sent you something. I didn’t note the date, I don’t remember when it was, but it’s likely that it happened as I wished when you were in Benares; and then you had this experience.

But when you returned the second time, from the Himalayas, you didn’t have the same flame as when you returned the first time. And I understood that this kind of difficult karma still clung to you, that it had not been dissolved. I had hoped that your contact with the mountains – but in a true solitude (I don’t mean that your body had to be all alone, but there should not have been all kinds of outer, superficial things) ... Anyway, it didn’t happen. So it means that the time had not come.

But when here the difficulties returned – and because of their obstinacy, their appearance of an inevitable fatality – I concluded that it was a karma, although I knew it with certainty only now.

But I always had a presentiment of the true thing: that only a VERY COURAGEOUS act of self-giving could efface the thing – not courageous or difficult from the material point of view, not that ... There is a certain zone of the vital in you, a mentalized vital but still very material, which is very much under the influence of circumstances and which very much believes in the effectiveness of outer measures – this is what is resisting.

That is all I know.

Generally, when the hour has come for a karma to be overcome and absorbed in the Grace, the image or the knowledge or the experience of the exact facts that are the origin of the karma come to me, and I can then perform ... the cleansing action.

For the time being, it is not yet there.

Only, and this is what I wrote to you the other day which you did not understand: it is precisely at the most painful point, at the time when the suggestions are strongest, that one must hold on. Otherwise, it has always to be done all over again, always to be reconfronted. There comes a day, a moment, when it has to be done. And now, there is truly an opportunity on earth that is offered only once in thousands of years, a conscious help, with the necessary Power ...

But that’s about all I know.


 

Still, I feel the need to do something – to do something.

TO DO something, yes, that’s what has a hold on you.

I’m rotting on the spot.

Eh?

I’m ... I feel like I’m rotting ...

Rotting?

Falling apart. Everything is falling apart.

Yes, that’s it ... (silence) That is the knot of karma: that sensation, that perception, that is the knot of karma.

My perception is that I have something to do, I don’t know what, and only afterwards ...

But do you feel it as something to do physically?

Yes, I don’t know, this project of the Belgian Congo,’ for example, it seemed to me ...

Pardon me, but that is childishness! ...

I don’t know. That’s not how I see it, in any case ... To live in the forest physically, an intense physical life where one is free, where one is pure, where one is far away ... Above all, to stop this thing from grinding on, finished with the head, and finished with thinking whatever it might be. If there is a yoga, it would be done spontaneously, naturally, physically, and without the least questioning from up there – above all, a complete cessation of that (the head).

@

1. The disciple wanted to leave for the forest, the Congo, to do the most unlikely things there.


 

@

November 26, 1958

(Extract from the last Wednesday class)

Basically, the vast majority of men are like prisoners with all the doors and all the windows shut, so they suffocate (which is quite natural), but they have with them the key that opens the doors and the windows, and they don’t use it ... Certainly, there is a period when they don’t know that they have the key, but even long after they do know it, long after they have been told, they hesitate to use it and doubt that it has the power to open the doors and windows, or even that it may be advisable to open them. And even once they feel that ‘After all, it might be a good thing,’ a fear pursues them: ‘What is going to happen once all these doors and these windows open? ...’ They become afraid – afraid of losing themselves in this light and in this freedom. They want to remain what they call ‘themselves.’ They love their falsehood and their slavery. Something in them loves it and remains clinging to it. They feel that without their limits, they would no longer exist.

That is why the journey is so long, so difficult. For if one would truly consent no longer to be, everything would become so easy, so swift, so luminous, so joyous – though perhaps not in the way men conceive of joy and ease. At heart, there are very few beings who are not enamored of struggle. There are very few who would consent to having no darkness or who can conceive of light as anything other than the opposite of obscurity: ‘Without shadow, there would be no painting. Without struggle, there would be no victory. Without suffering, there would be no joy.’ That is what they think, and as long as they think like that, they are not yet born to the spirit.

@


 

@

November 27, 1958

(Concerning the disciple’s karma and the tantric discipline that he is following to dissolve this karma, Mother wonders why She herself had not been able to dissolve it directly and why it was necessary to resort to intermediaries)

I am used to seeing the process or the working of things more from a spiritual point of view, something more universal, whereas this needs to be seen from a detailed, occult point of view.

For example, one thing had always appeared unimportant to me in action – intermediaries between the spiritualized individual being, the conscious soul, and the Supreme. According to my personal experience, it had always seemed to me that if one is exclusively turned towards the Supreme in all one’s actions and expresses Him directly, whatever is to be done is done automatically. For example, if you are always open and if at each second you consciously want to express only what the Supreme Lord wants to be expressed, it is done automatically. But with all that I have learned about pujas, about certain scriptures and certain rituals as well, the necessity for a ‘process’ has become very clear to me. It’s the same as in physical life; in physical life, everything needs a process, as we know, and it is the knowledge of processes that constitutes physical science. Similarly, in a more occult working, the knowledge and especially the RESPECT for the process seem to be much more important than I had first thought.

And when I studied this, when I looked at this science of processes, of intermediaries, suddenly I clearly understood the working of karma, which I had not understood before. I had worked and intervened quite often to change someone’s karma, but sometimes I had to wait, without exactly knowing why – the result was not immediate. I simply used to wait without worrying about the reasons for this slowness or delay. That’s how it was. And generally it ended, as I said, with the exact vision of the karma’s source, its initial cause; and scarcely would I have this vision when the Power would come, and the thing would be dissolved. But I didn’t bother about finding out why it was like that.


 

One day I had mentioned this to X’ when he was showing me or describing to me the different movements of the pujas, the procedure, the process of the puja. I said to him, ‘Oh, I see! For the action to be immediate, for the result to be immediate, one must acknowledge, for example, the role or the participation of certain spirits or certain forces and enter into a friendly relationship or collaboration with these forces in order to obtain an immediate result, is it not so?’ Then he told me, ‘Yes, otherwise it leaves an indefinite time to the play of the forces, and you don’t know when you will get the result of your puja.’

That interested me very much. Because one of the obstacles I had felt was that although the Force was acting well, there was a time lag that appeared inevitable, a time element in the work which seemed unavoidable – a play left to the forces of Nature. But with their knowledge of the processes, the tantrics can dispense with all that. So I understood why those who have studied, who are initiated and follow the prescribed methods are apparently more powerful – more powerful even than those who are conscious in the highest consciousness.

What interested me is that in their case (those who follow tantric or other initiations), what is doubtful is whether or not they can succeed in receiving the response of the true Power, the divine power, the supreme power; they do everything they can, but this question still remains. Whereas for me, it is the opposite situation: the Power is there, I have it, but how can I make it act here in matter? The process for making it act immediately was missing – though not totally; I know from the psychological standpoint, but there is something other than the psychological power, there is the whole play of conscious, individualized forces that are everywhere in Nature and that have the right to exist. Since it was created this way, it must express something of the supreme Will, otherwise He wouldn’t have made use of intermediaries – but in His plan, it is obvious that the intermediary has a legitimate place.

It is like the story X told me of his guru2 who could command the coming of Kali (something which seems quite natural to me when one is sufficiently developed); well, not only could he commend the coming of Kali, but Kali with I don’t know how many crores of her warriors! ... For me, Kali was Kali, after all, and she did her work; but in the universal organization, her action, the innumerable multiplicity of her action, is expressed by an innumerable multitude of conscious entities at work. It is this individualization, as it were, that gives to these forces a consciousness and a certain play of freedom, and this is what makes all the difference in action. It is in this respect that the occult system is an absolutely indispensable complement to spiritual action.

1. The disciple’s tantric guru.

2. The deceased guru of the disciple’s guru.


 

The spiritual action is direct, but it may not be immediate (anyway, that’s my experience). Sri Aurobindo said that with the supramental presence, it becomes immediate – and I have experienced this. But this would then mean that the supramental Power automatically commands all these intermediaries, whereas if it’s not present, even the highest spiritual power would need a specialized knowledge to act in this realm, a knowledge equivalent to an occult or initiatory knowledge of all these realms. This is why I told X, ‘Well, you taught me many things while you were here.’ There is always something to learn.

Of course, when the Supramental is here, it will be very different. I see it clearly: in moments when it is there, everything is turned inside out, and all this belongs to a world ... to the world of preparation. It is like a preparation, a long preparation.

It remains to be seen if all this has first to be mastered before there is even the possibility of holding the Supramental, of FIXING it in the manifestation. That is the great difference. For example, those with the power to materialize forces or beings lack the capacity to fix them, for these are fluid things which act and are then dissolved. That is the difference with the physical world where it is this condensation of energy that makes things ... (Mother strikes the arms of her chair) stable. All the things in the extraphysical realms are not stable, they are fluid – fluid and consequently uncertain.*

@

1. A few days later, the disciple left on a journey, then Mother fell ‘ill.’ It was to be the first great turning in her yoga: the beginning of the yoga of the cells.


 

@

November 28, 1958

(Extract from the last Friday class)

As it is, the physical body is really only a very disfigured shadow of the eternal life of the Self, but this physical body is capable of a progressive development; the physical substance progresses through each individual formation, and one day it will be able to build a bridge between physical life as we know it and the supramental life that is to manifest.

@

November 30, 1958

(Letter from Mother to Satprem)

Sunday morning

Satprem,

Here is the wherewithal to go to Hyderabad. Whatever you may decide, I will always be with you, invariably, in the truth of your being.

Signed: Mother


 

@

December 1958

(This note was written by Mother in English. It concerns an attack of black magic that threatened her life and in the end completely changed her outer existence. A new stage begins.)

Two or three days after I retired to my room upstairs,[4] early in the night I fell into a very heavy sleep and found myself out of the body much more materially than I do usually. This degree of density in which you can see the material surroundings exactly as they are. The part that was out seemed to be under a spell and only half conscious. When I found myself at the first floor where everything was absolutely black, I wanted to go up again, but then I discovered that my hand was held by a young girl whom I could not see in the darkness but whose contact was very familiar. She pulled me by the hand telling me laughingly, ‘No, come, come down with me, we shall kill the young princess.’ I could not understand what she meant by this ‘young princess’ and, rather unwillingly, I followed her to see what it was. Arriving in the anteroom which is at the top of the staircase leading to the ground floor, my attention was drawn in the midst of all this total obscurity to the white figure of Kamala[5] standing in the middle of the passage between the hall and Sri Aurobindo’s room. She was as it were in full light while everything else was black. Then I saw on her face such an expression of intense anxiety that to comfort her I said, ‘I am coming back.’ The sound of my voice shook off from me the semi-trance in which I was before and suddenly I thought, ‘Where am I going?’ and I pushed away from me the dark figure who was pulling me and in whom, while she was running down the steps, I recognized a young girl who lived with Sri Aurobindo and me for many years and died five years back. This girl during her life was under the most diabolical influence. And


 then I saw very distinctly (as through the walls of the staircase) down below a small black tent which could scarcely be perceived in the surrounding darkness and standing in the middle of the tent the figure of a man, head and face shaved (like the sannyasin or the Buddhist monks) covered from head to foot with a knitted outfit following tightly the form of his body which was tall and slim. No other cloth or garment could give an indication as to who he could be. He was standing in front of a black pot placed on a dark red fire which was throwing its reddish glow on him. He had his right arm stretched over the pot, holding between two fingers a thin gold chain which looked like one of mine and was unnaturally visible and bright. Shaking gently the chain he was chanting some words which translated in my mind, ‘She must die the young princess, she must pay for all she has done, she must die the young princess’.

Then I suddenly realized that it was I the young Princess and as I burst into laughter, I found myself awake in my bed.

I did not like the idea of something or somebody having the power to pull me like that so materially out of my body without my previous consent. That is why I gave some importance to the experience.

@

December 4, 1958

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Hyderabad, December 1958

Sweet Mother,

I had come to Hyderabad intending to prepare for a trip to Africa, but when it came to actually doing it, I simply could not. It is stronger than I; I cannot leave India, I cannot live without my soul.

Until these last days, I still thought I could count on some outer solution to resolve my problem, but now I am up against a wall;


 I see that nothing can be DONE and the only solution is what you said one day: ‘Consent no longer to be.’

Mother, I have made many mistakes, I have often been rebellious and fallen into many holes. Help me to pick myself up, give me nonetheless a little of your Love. This has to change.

I do not want to remain in Hyderabad. This is not the atmosphere I need, although everything is very quiet here.

If you want, I can return to the Ashram and throw myself headlong into the work in order to forget all this. There is a lot of work with Herbert’s things to correct, the revision of The Synthesis of Yoga, your old Questions and Answers and the Dhammapada, and perhaps you would accept to take up our work together again?

Otherwise, if you consider it preferable to wait, I could go join Swami in Rameswaram, discarding all my little personal reactions towards him. And I would try my best to find again the Light of the first time and return to you stronger. I don’t know. I will do what you say. All this really has to change. I don’t know, moreover, whether Swami wishes to have me.

Mother, I need you, I need you. Forgive me and tell me what I should do.

Your child,

Signed: Satprem

(Mother’s reply)

12.8.58

My dear child,

I have just received your letter which I read with all my love, the love that understands and effaces. When you return here, you will always be very welcome, and we shall certainly take up our work together again. I shall be happy, and it is very much needed. But first of all, it will be good for you to go to Rameswaram. I know that you will be welcome there. Stay there as long as necessary to find and consolidate your experience. Afterwards, come back here, stronger and better armed, to face a new period of outer and inner work. At the end of the labor is the Victory.

With all my confident love.

Signed: Mother


 

@

December 15, 1958

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Rameswaram, Monday 12.15.58

Sweet Mother,

I have only now received your first letter which you had sent to Hyderabad. It arrived in time to do me some good, for I am living through critical moments.

Swami received me warmly and is doing all he can with all his heart. I am following his instructions to the letter for I believe that your grace is acting through him. Furthermore, he is totally devoted to you and spoke of you as no one ever has – he understands many things. I was unfair in my reactions towards him.

At the new moon, when I felt very down, he gave me the first tantric mantra – a mantra to Durga. For a period of 41 days, I must repeat it 125,000 times and go every morning to the Temple, stand before Parvati and recite this mantra within me for at least one hour. Then I must go to the sanctuary of Shiva and recite another mantra for half an hour. Practically speaking, I have to repeat constantly within me the mantra to Durga in a silent concentration, whatever I may be doing on the outside. In these conditions, it is difficult to think of you and this has created a slight conflict in me, but I believe that your Grace is acting through Swami and through Durga, whom I am invoking all the time – I remember what you told me about the necessity for ‘intermediaries’ and I am obeying Swami unreservedly.

Mother, things are far from being what they were the first time in Rameswaram, and I am living through certain moments that are hell – the enemy seems to have been unleashed with an extraordinary violence. It comes in waves, and after it recedes, I am literally SHATTERED – physically, mentally and vitally drained. This morning, while going to the temple, I lived through one of these moments. All this suffering that suddenly sweeps down upon me is horrible. Yes, I had the feeling of being BACKED UP AGAINST A WALL, exactly as in your vision – I was up against a wall. I was walking among these immense arcades of sculptured granite and I could see myself walking, very small, all alone, alone, ravaged with pain, filled with a nameless despair, for nowhere was there a way out. The sea was nearby and I could


have thrown myself into it; otherwise, there was only the sanctuary of Parvati – but there was no more Africa to flee to, everything closed in all around me, and I kept repeating, ‘Why? Why?’ This much suffering was truly inhuman, as if my last twenty years of nightmare were crashing down upon me. I gritted my teeth and went to the sanctuary to say my mantra. The pain in me was so strong that I broke into a cold sweat and almost fainted. Then it subsided. Yet even now I feel completely battered.

I clearly see that the hour has come: either I will perish right here, or else I will emerge from this COMPLETELY changed. But something has to change. Mother, you are with me, I know, and you are protecting me, you love me – I have only you, only you, you are my Mother. If these moments of utter darkness return – and they are bound to return for everything to be exorcised and conquered – protect me in spite of myself. Mother, may your Grace not abandon me. I want to be done with all these old phantoms, I want to be born anew in your Light; it has to be – otherwise I can no longer go on.

Mother, I believe I understand something of all that you yourself are suffering, and the crucifixion of the Divine in Matter is a real crucifixion. In this moment of consciousness, I offer you all my trials and little sufferings. I would like to triumph so that it be your triumph, one weight less upon your heart.

Forgive me, Mother, for all the pain I may have thrown on you, but I am confident that with your Grace I will emerge from this victorious, your child unobscured, in all the fibers of my being. Oh Mother, how alone you are to bear all our suffering ... if only I could remember this in my moments of darkness.

I am at your feet. You are my Mother, my only support.

Signed: Satprem

Mother, may I not be swept away by one of these waves. Protect me. Love me! But EVERYTHING has to be faced NOW. I want to fight. I do not ask you to spare me, therefore, but to help me withstand the blow.

(Mother’s reply)

12.17.5 8

My very dear child,

I have just received your letter of the 15th. Yes, I know that the hour is critical. It has been grave here as well. I had to stop


everything, for the attack upon my body was too violent. Now it is better – but I have not yet resumed any of my outer activities, and I remain in my room upstairs. The battle continues in the invisible and I consider it decisive. You are a very intimate part of this battle. This is to tell you that I am with you in the most integral sense of these words. I know what you are suffering, I feel it – but you must hold on. The Grace is there, all-powerful. As soon as it is possible and without going through one minute more than needed to transform that which has to be transformed, the trial will reach its end and we shall emerge into the light and joy. So never forget that I am with you – in you – and that WE SHALL TRIUMPH:

With all that love can bring of solace and endurance,

Signed: Mother

Do not be troubled about my body – it is well on the way to recovery.

***

Thursday 17th

My very dear child, I am adding on to what I wrote you this morning to ask you to follow very scrupulously the indications given by Swami – he knows these things and has offered himself very sincerely as an instrument of action for my Grace.

When you invoke Durga, it is I you invoke through her, when you invoke Shiva, it is I you invoke through him – and in the final analysis, to the Supreme Lord go all prayers.

With all my love.

Signed: Mother


 

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December 24, 1958

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Rameswaram, December 24, 1958

Sweet Mother,

Your last letter was a great comfort to me. If you were not there, with me, everything would be so absurd and impossible. I am again disturbing you because Swami tells me that you are worried and that I should write to you. Not much has changed, except that I am holding on and am confident. Yesterday, I again suffered an agonizing wave, in the temple, and I found just enough strength to repeat your name with each beat of my heart, like someone drowning. I remained as motionless as a pillar of stone before the sanctuary, with only your name (my mantra would not come out), then it cleared. It was brutal. I am confident that with each wave I am gaining in strength, and I know you are there. But I am aware that if the enemy is so violent it is because something in me responds, or has responded, something that has not made its ‘surrender’ – that is the critical point. Mother, may your grace help me to place everything in your hands, everything, without any shadow. I want so much to emerge into the Light, to be rid of all this once and for all.

I am following Swami’s instructions to the letter. Sometimes it all seems to lack warmth and spontaneity, but I am holding on. I might add that we are living right next to the bazaar, amidst a great racket 20 hours a day, which does not make things easier. So I repeat my mantra as one pounds his fists against the walls of a prison. Sometimes it opens a little, you send me a little joy, and then everything becomes better again.

Swami told me that the mantra to Durga is intended to pierce through into the subconscient. To complement this work, he does his pujas to Kali, and finally one of his friends, X, the ‘High Priest’ of the temple in Rameswaram (who presided over my initiation and has great occult powers), has undertaken to say a ‘very powerful’ mantra over me daily, for a period of eight days, to extirpate the dark forces from my subconscious. The operation already began four days ago. While reciting his mantra, he holds a glass of water in his hand, then he makes me drink it. It seems that on the eighth day, if the enemy has been trapped, this water


turns yellow – then the operation is over and the poisoned water is thrown out. (I tell you all this because I prefer that you know.) In any event, I like X very much, he is a very luminous, very good man. If I am not delivered after all this! ...

In truth, I believe only in the Grace. My mantra and all the rest seem to me only little tricks to try to win over your Grace.

Mother, love me. I have only you, I want to belong to you alone.

I am at your feet.

Your child,

Signed: Satprem

Have you recovered?

Happy New Year, Sweet Mother.

(Mother’s reply)

Sri Aurobindo Ashram Pondicherry, 12.26.58

Happy New Year!

My dear child,

I have received your letter of the 24th. You did well to write, not because I was worried, but I like to receive news for it fixes my work by giving me useful material details. I am glad that X is doing something for you. I like this man and I was counting upon him. I hope he will succeed. Perhaps his work will be useful here, too – for I have serious reasons to believe that this time occult and even definite magic practices aimed directly against my body have been mixed in with the attacks. This has complicated things somewhat, so as yet I have not resumed any of my usual activities – I am still upstairs ‘resting,’ but in reality fighting. Yesterday, the Christmas distribution took place without me, and it is likely that it will be the same for January 1st. The work, too, has been completely interrupted. And I do not yet know how long this will last.

Keep me posted on the result of X’s action; it interests me very much ...

I love you, my child, and I am near you with confidence and tenderness.

Doubt not of the Victory, it is certain.

Signed: Mother

@


 

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December 28, 1958

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Rameswaram, December 28, 1958

Sweet Mother,

One sentence in your letter prompted much reflection; you write that X’s action might ‘be useful here, too.’ After hesitating, I told Swami of the magic attack aimed directly against you.

If you wish, two things can be done to help your action: either X can undertake certain mantric operations upon you here in Rameswaram, or better still, he can immediately come to Pondicherry with Swami and do what is needed in front of you.

Sweet Mother, I indeed suspect that you want to endure, to bear this struggle all alone. Oh, I think I understand a number of things about the mechanism of these attacks and their connection with me, about the Divine Love that embraces all and takes into itself the suffering and the evil of men – all this overwhelms me with a sudden understanding. It seems to me that I am seeing and feeling all that you are facing, all that you are taking upon yourself for us. The suffering of the Divine in Matter has been an overwhelming revelation to me – Ah! I see, I want to fight, I want to be totally on your side; I am now and forever determined.

But you have enough to do with the higher beasts of prey without still having to fight the little scorpions. I beg of you, Sweet Mother, accept the help that is being offered to you, preserve your strength for the higher struggle. I quite understand that your Love can even go to the scorpions that are attacking you, but it is not forbidden to protect yourself from their venom. You have enough to do on other planes.

X is at the summit of tantric initiation, and his power is not the fruit of a simple knowledge. He holds it directly from the Divine, and these things have been in his family traditionally from ten generations. No black magic can resist his power. His action is not brutal, he does not mechanically apply formulas, he holds this Science and knows how to apply it like an expert chemist, always in Light, Love and sweetness. If you agree that he come to see you, he will immediately know the source of these attacks upon you and will even be able to make the attacking force speak. He has this power. Of course, neither X nor Swami will divulge this


to anyone, and everything will be kept secret. You have only to send word, or a telegram: ‘No objection.’

The work can be done from here also, but naturally it will not be quite as effective. In that case, you would have to set a specific time to synchronize the action in Rameswaram and Pondicherry. Swami can also do something in his pujas. It is for you to decide, but I hope you will not want to prolong this battle unnecessarily.

On my side, within my little field, I am taking the bull by the horns and henceforth the enemy will no longer have my complicity. May all my being be turned solely towards your Light – and be your help, your instrument, your knight.

X has decided to continue his action upon me beyond the eight days foreseen, which doubtlessly corresponds to dosages that exceed my understanding.

Mother, I am fighting beside you, for you, for your Victory.

With all my Love, I am at your feet.

Signed: Satprem

It seems to me that everything has changed since I have understood that it is not a personal battle, and that I can serve. Your grace is everywhere, everywhere.

(Mother’s reply)

Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 12.30.58

My dear child,

I have just now received your letter of the 28th. On that day I definitely felt that there was a decisive change in the situation and I understood right away that you had spoken to Swami and also that what I had written to you gave you the opportunity to take a great step. I am very happy and can say with certitude that the worst is over. However, from several points of view, I infinitely appreciate X’s offer. And although I do not think it necessary, or even desirable, that they both come here (it would create a veritable revolution and perhaps even a panic among the ashramites), I am sure that their intervention in Rameswaram itself would not only be useful but most effective ...


 

Yes, everything has changed since you now understand that your battle is not only a personal battle and that by winning it, it is a real service you are rendering to the Divine Work.

Happy New Year, my dear child! I am sure it will bring us a decisive victory.

I am near you with all my love.

Signed: Mother

P.S. I shall propose to Swami to enter into contact with them at 8:45 p.m., if this time suits them.

@

January 6, 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Rameswaram, January 6, 1959

Sweet Mother,

This is to tell you that a knot has very perceptibly come undone in me, for no apparent reason; suddenly, I was breathing easily.

And it happened just as I was despairing of ever getting out of it. I seemed to be touching a kind of fundamental bedrock, so painful, so suffering, and full of revolt because of too much suffering. And I saw that all my efforts, all the meditations, aspirations, mantras, were only covering up this suffering bedrock without touching it. I saw this fundamental thing in me very clearly, a poignant knot, ever ready for an absolute negation. I saw it and I said to you, ‘Mother, only your grace can remove this.’ I said this to you in the temple that morning, in total despair. And then, the knot was undone. X’s action contributed a lot, with your grace acting through him. But truly, I have traversed a veritable hell this last while.

X continues his work on me daily; it is to last 41 days in all. He told me that he wants to undo the things of several births. When it is over, he will explain it all to me. I do not know how to tell you how luminous and good this man is, he is a very great soul. He is also giving me Sanskrit lessons, and little by little, each evening, speaks to me of the Tantra.

His action upon you is to continue for another five days, after which he is positive that you will be entirely saved. According to him, it is indeed a magic attack originating in Pondicherry, and perhaps even from someone in the Ashram!! He told me that this evil person would finally be forced to appear before you ... I am learning many interesting things from him.

Mother, by way of expressing to you my gratitude, I want to work now to open myself totally to your Light and become truly an egoless instrument, your conscious instrument. Mother, you are the sole Reality.

With love and gratitude, I am your child.

Signed: Satprem


 

(Mother’s reply)

Sri Aurobindo Ashram Pondicherry, 1.8.59

My dear child,

I was awaiting your letter impatiently and am very happy about what you write!

I have followed the vicissitudes of your struggle step by step and I know that it has been terrible, but my confidence in the outcome has not wavered – for I know you are in good hands. I am so happy that X is taking good care of you, teaching you Sanskrit, speaking to you of the Tantra. It is just what I wanted.

His action here has been very effective and really very interesting. I still do not know whether someone has really done black magic, and the ‘villain’ has yet to appear before me. But already several days ago the malefic influence completely disappeared without leaving any trace in the atmosphere. Also their mantric intervention did not stop at that, for it has had another most interesting result. I am preparing a long letter for Swami to explain all this to him ...

The pain on the left side has not entirely gone and there have been some complications which have delayed things. But I feel much better. In fact, I am rebuilding my health, and I am in no hurry to resume the exhausting days as before. It is quiet upstairs for working, and I am going to take advantage of this to prepare the Bulletin’ at leisure. As I had not read over the pages on the message that we had prepared for the 315’, I have revised and transformed them into an article. It will be the first one in the February issue. I am now going to choose the others. I will tell you which ones I have chosen and in what order I will put them.

Satprem, my child, I am truly with you and I love you.

Signed: Mother

1. The Bulletin of Physical Education, which appeared quarterly.


 

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January 14, 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Rameswaram, January 14, 1959

Sweet Mother,

This morning, X told me that he would be most happy to continue his action upon you if it would help your work; he has continued it anyway, even after knowing that the malefic influence was expelled from the Ashram. By the way, X told me that this evil spirit is continuing to circle around the Ashram, but beyond its ‘borders.’ Therefore, if you agree, it would be necessary for him to come to Pondicherry one of these days to come to grips directly with the ‘evil one’ and finish him off in such a way that he can no longer come to disturb the sadhaks, or your work, upon the slightest pretext. Then X could force this spirit to appear before him, and thereby free the atmosphere from its influence. Anyway, this trip to Pondicherry would not take place in the near future, and it would be easy to give him an official excuse: seminars on the Tantra Shastra that will interest all the Sanskritists at the Ashram. Moreover, X’s work would be done quietly in his room when he does his daily puja. From here, from Rameswaram, it is rather difficult to attract Pondicherry’s atmosphere and do the work with precision. Of course, nothing will be done without your express consent. Swami is writing you on his own to tell you of the revelation that X received from his [deceased] guru concerning your experience and the schemings of certain Ashram members.

In this regard, perhaps you know that X is the tenth in the line of Bhaskaraya (my spelling of this name is perhaps not correct), the great Tantric of whom you had a vision, who could command the coming of Kali along with all her warriors. It is from X that Swami received his initiation.

Your last letter gave us great pleasure, knowing that you have finally recovered physically. But we deeply hope that you will not again take up the countless activities that formerly consumed all your time – so many people come to you egoistically, for prestige, to be able to say that they are on familiar terms with you. You know this, of course ...

As for myself, a step has definitely been taken, and I am no


longer swept away by this painful torrent. Depressions and attacks still come, but no longer with the same violence as before. X told me that 2/3 of the work has been done and that everything would be purged in twelve days or so, then the ‘thing’ will be enclosed in a jar and buried somewhere or thrown into the sea, and he will explain it all to me. I will write and tell you about it.

As for the true tantric initiation, this is what X told me: ‘I will give you initiation. You are fit. You belong to that line. It will come soon, some months or some years. Shortly you shall reach the junction. When the time has come, you yourself will come and open a door in me and I shall give you initiation.” And he made me understand that an important divine work was reserved for me in the future, a work for the Mother. The important practical point is that I have rapidly to develop my knowledge of Sanskrit. The mantra given to me seems to grow in power as I repeat it.

Sweet Mother, by what Grace have you guided and protected me through all these years? There are moments when I have the vision of this Grace, bringing me to the verge of tears. I see so clearly that you are doing everything, that you are all that is good in me, my aspiration and my strength. ‘Me’ is all that is bad, all that resists, ‘me’ is horribly false and falsifying. If your Grace withdraws for one second, I collapse, I am helpless.’ You alone are my strength, the source of my life, the joy and fulfillment to which I aspire.

I am at your feet, your child eternally.

Signed: Satprem

(Mother’s reply)

1.1 6.59

My dear child,

This morning, I received your letter ... I am very happy about all that X is telling you and that he has found you fit to receive the tantric initiation. It was my feeling, I could say my conviction, to which he gives an enlightened confirmation. So all is well.

As for my health and the Ashram, I infinitely appreciate what he has done and what he would like to continue to do. His visit will make me very happy, and if he comes in about one month, a few days before the ‘darshan,’ there will be no need to find any excuse for his visit, for it will appear quite natural.

I. Original English.


 

My health is progressing well, but I intend to be very prudent and not burden myself with occupations. Yesterday, I began the balcony darshan again, and it is all right. That is all for the moment.

I am taking advantage of this situation to work. I have chosen the articles for the Bulletin. They are as follows: 1) Message. 2) To keep silent. 3) Can there be intermediary states between man and super-man? 4) The Anti-Divine. 5) What is the role of the spirit? 6) Karma (I have touched this one up to make it less personal). 7) The Worship of the Supreme in Matter. Now I would like to prepare the first twelve Aphorisms’ for printing. But as you have not yet revised the last two, I am sending them to you. Could you do them when you have finished what you are doing for the Bulletin? It is not urgent, take your time. Do not disturb your real work for this in any way. For, in my eyes, this work of inner liberation is much more important.

You will find in this letter a little money. I thought you might need it for your stamps, etc.

I never leave you, and my love too is always with you.

Signed: Mother

@

January 21, 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Rameswaram, January 21, 1959

Sweet Mother,

Here is what X told me: ‘I have received a message from my guru.* In my vision, the Mother was there, next to my guru, and she was smiling. My guru told me that your present difficulties are a period of testing, but I could already give you the first stage of tantric initiation and that for you, the three stages of initiation could be done in an accelerated way.

1. The French translation of Sri Aurobindo’s Thoughts and Aphorisms.

2. X’s deceased guru.


 

I will therefore give you initiation this Friday or Saturday, on the day of the full moon or the day before. This first stage will last three months during which you will have to repeat 1 lakh’ times the mantra that I will give you. At the end of three months, I will come to see you in Pondicherry – or you will come here for a fortnight, and as soon as I have received the message from my guru, I will give you the second stage that will last three months as well. At the end of these three months, you will receive the full initiation.’ X warned me that the first stage I am to receive provokes attacks and tests but that all this disappears with the second stage. Forewarned is forearmed. For what reason I do not know, but X told me that the particular nature of my initiation should remain secret and that he will say nothing about it to Swami, and he added (in speaking of the speed of the process), ‘But you will not be less than the Swami.’ (!!) There, I wanted you to know – besides, you were present in X’s vision. All this happened at a time when I was in the most desperate crisis I have ever known. Sweet Mother, there is no end to expressing my gratitude to you, and yet with the least trial, I am reduced to nothing. Why have you so much grace for me?

I would like very much to return to Pondicherry for the February Darshan and once again begin working for you. Today I am sending a second lot to Pavitra and tomorrow I will start on the Aphorisms, for I do not want to make you wait any longer. I will send a third and final lot to Pavitra by the end of the month, in time for printing. I am very touched, sweet Mother, by your attention and the money you are sending me.

Sweet Mother, may my entire life be at your service, may my entire being belong to you. I owe you everything.

With love and gratitude, I am your child.

Signed: Satprem

Sweet Mother, do not waste time writing to me; you have so many things to do and I feel a little awkward disturbing you so often.

1. One lakh = one hundred thousand.


 

(Mother’s reply)

Sri Aurobindo Ashram Pondicherry, 1.27.59

My dear child,

I was waiting to answer your letter of the 21st until the Friday and Saturday you mentioned had gone by. And then I felt that you were returning the Aphorisms, so I waited a bit more. I have just received them along with your letter of the 23rd, but I have not yet looked at them. Besides, if you intend returning for the February ‘darshan,’ I think it would be preferable for us to revise the whole book together. There will not be very much work on my side since the Wednesday and Friday classes were discontinued in the beginning of December, and I still do not know when they will resume.’ Right now, I am translating the Aphorisms all alone and it seems to go quickly and well. This could also be revised and the book on the Dhammapada prepared for publication.

For the time being, I am going downstairs only in the mornings at 6 for the balcony darshan and I immediately come back up without seeing anyone – then in the afternoons, I go down once more at about 3 to take my bath and at 4:30 I come back up again. I do not yet know what will happen next month. I shall have to find some way to meet you so that we can work together – I am going to think it over.

I do not ask you to write me your news,* because I know that these are things it is better not to write about. But you know that it keenly interests me.

My love is always with you, enfolding and upholding you.

The blessings of the Grace are upon you.

Signed: Mother

@

1. They would never resume.

2. About the tantric initiation.


 

@

January 27, 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Rameswaram, January 27, 1959

Sweet Mother,

So X will to do a special work for you for eleven days, and if at the end of this period the suffering still persists, he will send me to Pondicherry to deliver something directly into your hands. I, too, would like very much to do something to alleviate your suffering.

By a special grace, X gave me both stages of the tantric initiation at the same time, although they are normally separated by several years; then if all goes well, he will give me the full initiation in 6 months. I have thus received a mantra, along with the power of realizing it. X told me that a realization should come at the beginning of the fifth month if I repeat the mantra strictly according to his instructions, but he again told me that the hostile forces would do all they could to prevent me from saying my mantra: mental suggestions and even illness. X has understood that I have work at the Ashram, and he has exempted me from the outer forms (pujas and other rituals), but nevertheless I must repeat my mantra very accurately every day (3,333 times, that is, a little more than 3 hours uninterrupted in the mornings, and more than 2 hours in the evening). I must therefore organize myself in such a way as to get up very early in the morning in Pondicherry, for in no case will your work suffer.

Apart from this, he has not yet entirely finished the work of ‘purging’ that he has been doing on me for over a month, but I believe that everything will be completed in a short time from now.

Sweet Mother, I have a kind of fear that all these mantras are not bringing me nearer to you – I mean you in your physical body, for it is not upon you physically that I was told to concentrate. Also, I almost never see you in my dreams any longer, or else only very vaguely. Last night, I dreamed that I was offering you flowers (not very pretty ones), one of which was called ‘mantra,’ but I did not see you in my dream. Mother, I would like to be true, to do the right thing, to be as you want me to be.

I am your child. I belong to you alone.

Signed: Satprem


 

(Mother’s reply)

Sri Aurobindo Ashram Pondicherry, 1.29.59

My dear child,

Your very interesting letter of the 27th has just arrived.

All is well – I am enthusiastic and you can count on my conscious help to overcome all the obstacles and all the bad will that may try to stop or delay your progress. It is a matter of being more obstinate, much more obstinate than the enemy, and whatever the cost, to reach the goal in time.

Since my last letter, I have thought about it and I see that I will be able to go down in the morning three times a week for one hour, from 10 to 11, to work with you, but you will have to do only the strict minimum in order to have as much free time as you need for the other things.’

As I told you, I have resumed neither classes nor translations, and I still do not know when I will do so. So there is only the old work to finish up, but it will not take very long.

My body would also like to have a mantra to repeat. Those it has are not enough for it anymore. It would like to have one to hasten its transformation. It is ready to repeat it as many times as needed, provided that it does not have to be out loud, for it is very rarely alone and does not want to speak of this to anyone. Truly, the Ashram atmosphere is not very favorable for this kind of thing. You will have to take precautions so as not to be disturbed or interrupted in an inopportune way. Domestic servants, curious people, so-called friends can all serve as instruments of the hostile forces to put a spoke in the wheels. I will do my best to protect you, but you will have a lot to do yourself and will have to be as firm as an iron rod.

I am not writing you all this to discourage you from coming. But I want you to succeed; for me that is more important than anything else, no matter what the price. So, know for certain that I am with you all the time and more so especially when you repeat your mantra ...

In constant communion in the effort towards victory; my love and my force never leave you.

Signed: Mother

@

1. The tantric work.


 

@

January 31, 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Rameswaram, January 31, 1959

Sweet Mother,

I have reflected for a long time on that passage in your letter where you say that your body needs a mantra to hasten its transformation. Certainly X can do something in this realm, but I have not yet spoken to him (and I shall not speak of this to Swami).

X knows very little about your true work and what Swami has been able to explain to him is rather inadequate, for I do not believe that he himself understands it very well. So I shall have to try to make myself understood quite clearly to X and tell him exactly and simply what it is you need. The word ‘transformation’ is too abstract. Each mantra has a very specific action – at least I believe so – and I must be able to tell X in a concrete way the exact powers or capacities you are now seeking, and the general goal or the particular results required. Then he will find the mantra or mantras that apply.

My explanations will have to be simple, for X speaks English with difficulty, thus subtleties are out of the question. (I am teaching him a little English while he is teaching me Sanskrit, and we manage to understand each other rather well all the same. He understands more than he can speak.)

I do not want to mention this to Swami, as X is not very happy about the way Swami seizes upon every occasion to appropriate things, and particularly mantras (I will explain this to you when we meet again). It is especially the way he says ‘I’. Nothing very serious – it is Swami’s bad side, though he has good ones too. You know that, however.

So I would like to speak to X knowledgeably, in a very precise way, and I am waiting only for you to tell me what I should say. The thing is too important to be approached lightly and vaguely.

... ... ... ...

As for my return to Pondicherry, I would like you yourself to decide. I am anxious to see you again, but I also think that it is not necessary to rush things, and the Darshan periods are heavy for you.


 

In principle, X will have finished his ‘purging’ of me on February 6. So after that date I will do what you wish.

As for my mantra, I say it only partially now, but X will fix an ‘auspicious’ day to begin it really according to the rules when I am in Pondicherry, for theoretically, one should not move once the work has begun. The 12th of February is an auspicious day, if you decide that I should return by then (or a little before to get things ready); otherwise another date may be fixed later on.

Your letter, Sweet Mother, has filled me with strength and resolution. I want to be victorious and I want to serve you. I see very well that gradually I can be taught many useful things by X. The essential thing is first of all to lose this ego which falsifies everything. Finally, through your grace, I believe that I have passed a decisive turning point and that there is a beginning of real consecration – and I feel your Love, your Presence. Things are opening a little.

Sweet Mother, I love you and I want to serve you truly.

Your child,

Signed: Satprem

P.S. All the old Questions and Answers will also have to be revised with you, perhaps not in their entirety, but certain problems need clarification. What a grace to be able to work with you!

(Mother’s reply)

Sri Aurobindo Ashram Pondicherry, 2.2.59

My dear child,

I have received your letter of the 31st. In a number of ways it confirms my experience of these past days. We shall speak of all this when you return.

I have reflected a great deal on a possible mantra, and I have also seen the difficulty of receiving something that does not have a narrowing effect ... One must at least have an idea of the possibility (at least) of the supermind to understand what I need ...

As for your arrival here, the day you mentioned is the Saraswati Puja – I will go downstairs to give blessings. If you arrive on the previous day, the 11th – I will arrange to see you at 10 o’clock, and then you can begin your mantra on the 12th.


 

Simply send me word to let me know if this is all right. Tell me also if you need money for your return, and how much, in time for me to send it.

As for the rest, we shall speak of it here.

So, until we meet soon.

Tell X that my body is on the way to complete recovery.

With my love and my blessings.

Signed: Mother

@

March 10, 1959

(The disciple returned to the Ashram, but as he was very quickly seized again by his mania for the road, the Agenda of 1959, alas, is strewn with great gaps and is almost nonexistent. The following conversation is in regard to one of Mother’s commentaries on the Dhammapada: ‘Evil’)

I spent a night – a night of battle – when, for some reason or other, a multitude of vital formations of all kinds entered into the room: beings, things, embryos of beings, residues of beings – all kinds of things ... And it was a frightful assault, absolutely disgusting.

In this swarming mass, I noticed the presence of some slightly more conscious wills – wills of the vital plane – and I saw how they try to awaken a reaction in the consciousness of human beings to make them think or want, or if possible, do certain things.

For example, I saw one of them trying to incite anger in someone so that this person would deliver a blow – a spiritual blow. And this formation had a dagger in his hand (a vital dagger, you see, it was a vital being: gray and slimy, horrible), he was holding a very sharp dagger which he was flaunting, saying, ‘When a person has done something like that (pretending that someone had done an unforgivable thing), this is what he deserves ...’ and the scenario was complete: the being rushed forward, vitally, with his dagger.

I, who know the consequences of these things, stopped him just in time – I gave him a blow. Then I had enough of all this and


it was over, I cleaned the place out. It was almost a physical cleaning, for I had my hands clasped together (I was in a semitrance) and I threw them apart in an abrupt movement, left and right, powerfully, as if to sweep something away, and frrt! ... immediately everything was gone.

But had that not happened ... I was watching, not exactly with curiosity, but in order to learn – to learn what kind of atmosphere people live in! And it is ALWAYS like that! They are always pestered by HORDES of little formations that are absolutely swarming and disgusting, each one making its ... nasty little suggestion.

Take these movements of anger, for example, when someone is carried away by his passion and does things which, in his normal state, he would never do: he is not doing it, it is done by these little formations which are there, swarming in the atmosphere, just waiting for an occasion ... to rush in.

When you see them, oh! it’s ... suffocating. When you’re in contact with that ... Really, you wonder how anyone can breathe in such an atmosphere. And yet people CONSTANTLY live in that atmosphere! They live in it. Only when they rise above are they NOT in it. Or else there are those who are entirely below; but those are the toys of these things, and their reactions are sometimes not only unexpected but absolutely dreadful – because they are puppets in the hands of these things.

Those who rise above, who enter into a slightly intellectual region, can see all this from above; they can look down at it all, keep their heads above and breathe; but those who live in this realm ...

Sri Aurobindo calls this realm the ‘intermediate zone,’ a zone in which, he says, you can have all the experiences you wish if you enter into it. But it isn’t (laughing) very advisable! – and I understand why! I had that experience because I had just read what Sri Aurobindo says on this subject in a letter in this latest book, On Yoga; I wanted to see for myself what it was. Ah, I understood!

And I express this in my own way when I say’ that thoughts ‘come and go, flow in and out.’ But thoughts concerning material things are formations originating in that world, they are kinds of wills coming from the vital plane which try to express themselves, and most often they are truly deadly. If you are annoyed, for example, if someone says something unpleasant to you and you react ... It always happens in the same way; these little entities are there waiting, and when they feel it’s the right moment, they introduce their influence and their suggestions. This is what is vitally symbolized by the being with his dagger rushing forward to stab you – and in the back, at that! Not even face to face! This then expresses itself in the human consciousness by a movement of anger or rage or indignation: ‘How intolerable! How ... !’ And the other fellow says, ‘Yes! We shall put an end to it!’

1. In this Commentary on the Dhammapada.


 

It is quite interesting to watch it once, but it isn’t very pleasant.

@

March (? ) 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry

Sweet Mother,

X has just left my house. He began by saying that he had your permission to speak to me about certain things concerning the black forces that attacked you. I asked him why he did not speak to you directly, because surely you would understand better and more than I. He replied in this way: ‘Several times Mother asked about these black powers, and every time I felt in myself a “great confusion.” There (in your room) it is such a Place, Place of supreme Power, Place of Divinity, and I CANNOT talk about small matters. I CANNOT talk English. I have tried but it disturbs my “meditation.” Thus I have asked Mother permission to talk to you; with you I can talk of these matters.” These were almost exactly his words. Sweet Mother, he said this in such a way, there was something so sacred when he spoke of you up in your room, that I felt like prostrating myself at his feet. (Ah, Sweet Mother, how inadequately we approach you! ... )

He began his story thus: ‘This girl in Mother’s entourage* was, while she was alive, attacked by an extremely powerful mantric magician.

1. X’s words are given in their original English when they appear in italics.

2. A young woman very close to Mother and Sri Aurobindo who did a great deal of harm to Mother. She died a few years after Sri Aurobindo’s departure.


 

But the Protection was there, and finally the attack fell back on the mantric, who died from it. He died in a great rage and with a great will for revenge and began circling around the Ashram in the Preta Loka (I believe this corresponds to the vital world) seeking an opportunity to do harm, but there was such a purity, such a divine force that he could do nothing. When this girl died, he attacked her, and the two merged – he absorbed her. Then they continued wandering about the Ashram in search of a physical instrument to gain entry into the Ashram. They found an entryway through the intermediary of certain black-minded people. While doing my Puja, I came to know seven of them. All seven came, drawn by my Yantra.’ Some of them are people who have taken Mother’s money and have been collecting money from their duty. I learned this yesterday, and I began a special Puja to turn their mind, put them again on the right path.’ (At this point, he said something that meant this would be easy.)

... ... ... ...

Thereupon, X told me, ‘That is all. I will tell you more on Friday, after the Puja. The work will be over.’

Here, the conversation on this subject came to an end. On the way back to his house, I said to him, ‘It would be very useful for Mother to know the names of these people; it would help her own work.’ And I suggested to him that he write down the names of the seven people and put them in a sealed envelope.

Thereupon, X began saying ‘no’ rather categorically. But I insisted, mentioning the help it could bring to your work and saying that apart from you, of course, no one would know since the names would be placed in an envelope. Then he said to me, ‘All right, I shall try tomorrow and ask from the supreme Divinity the name of three of them, the chief ones.’

We did not speak of the living magician who has been paid by a member of the Ashram (undoubtedly one of these 7) to get rid of you. If you like, I will ask him this question another time.

... ... ... ...

That’s all, Sweet Mother. Forgive me for all the times I have come to you with ‘small matters.’

1. Yantra: A drawing, generally made up of geometric lines, that serves to invoke or materialize certain forces.


 

I pray that you deliver me from my smallness, that you place clearly before my consciousness all these very petty and ugly little things, and that I may always come to you with a wider heart, more capable of seeing you and of loving you better.

Your child,

Signed: Satprem

@

March (?) 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem concerning X’s inquiry into who had practiced black magic on her)

Pondicherry

Sweet Mother,

I will be seeing you tomorrow, but I prefer to state things clearly now; if you wish, I can read you my letter when we meet. Here is what X told me:

‘The message came this morning during the Puja; my guru spoke in the form of Sanskrit slokas and this is not easy to express in English. Normally, I might have waited rather long for the answer, but because of the greatness of the Mother, it came immediately. The message implicated not 7 people, but 25 to 50, all or almost all Gujaratis.’ (Here, X said something I am not sure I grasped, but it was to the effect that either his guru did not seem to find it easy or did not feel like giving so many names, but were Mother to insist, it might be possible. I am not sure if I really understood this.) Then the message spoke of a rivalry between the Gujaratis and the Bengalis (to occupy the key positions in the Ashram); I put this in parentheses for it is more an interpretation on my part, what I ‘felt.’ Moreover, X did not exactly use the word ‘rivalry’ – which he probably doesn’t know – but rather ‘confusion between Gujarati and Bengali.’ However, the message explicitly implicated the Gujaratis of the ‘Head-departments.’ I then asked X if he meant the heads of departments or the main departments. He answered, ‘All Gujaratis,’ whereupon he caught


himself and said, ‘75% of them.’ At this point X told me, ‘In the Ashram there are few, FEW people on a very high level, and plenty ...’ without completing his sentence. The message continued, stating explicitly that these Gujaratis are busy making money from Mother (‘making collection of money’), while outwardly pretending to be serving the Ashram. Here, I thought I understood that there was a Bengali group which was seeking to overthrow the Gujaratis so that they could manage the business affairs as they please. Such was the substance of the message. I asked X if he could not write down the very concise Sanskrit slokas he had heard. He said yes, then he said that he would see about this after going to his house???

Then, X told me that he was going to do something to straighten all this out and to ‘turn the mind of those people in the right path. But I cannot do it here, in Pondicherry. About two months will be needed. For two months, I will do a Puja on a special Yantra and when it is finished, I will send Mother this Yantra along with certain manuscripts for the library. Then Mother will have to keep this Yantra beside her to control all these bad elements, and it will help her, her own work.’

I asked X for details on at least those who had paid the magician. He told me he would speak about it tomorrow.

Finally, I read your letter to X. Regarding the globe of light, he at once said, ‘I know; it is Mother’s Shakti, her Power in a concentrated form (he did not use the word “concentrated,” but said “collection”). This global, concentrated Shakti came back today; it is a very good sign.’ Then he said something that meant it was a sign that ‘the black Power’ was definitely conquered or controlled. (I will speak to you of a strange dream that I had last night, which seems related to this.’) ‘The Shakti had been dispersed by the black attack, but its Light was too powerful to be really touched. It has come back. Also, I saw from certain physical signs that Mother is better.’

1. In this ‘dream,’ we saw a titan in a gigantic airplane that crashed to the ground. However, this titan did not seem to be dead, or at least not completely dead.


 

Then X expressed the desire to meditate sitting in front of you and not standing: ‘You see, this morning I was flying, I was not touching the floor – outside of the body.’ So he would be more comfortable sitting. Then he added, ‘Every day a different action takes place. Mother knows, but I can tell you a little something because you are very close to me, YOU ARE MY HEART (I was deeply touched when he told me that). The first day my guruji was standing there, by my side, with his hand on my shoulder, blessing me. Another day I was growing, growing 10 feet instead of 5, and great, great Power came in me.’ This is approximate, I no longer remember exactly how he said it. All I know is that something very powerful came into him and afterwards he needed to rest. He did not elaborate, but only repeated, ‘Mother knows.’

So that is about all, Sweet Mother.

Each time he comes to see me, he ‘transmits’ something to me: there is a great force trying to go out of me which he seems to be pulling; it tries to climb up through the neck and to go out from the head. I don’t know exactly. Something is happening, that is all I know.

With love, I am your child.

Signed: Satprem

@

March (?) 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry

Sweet Mother,

I recounted my dream of the titan to X and told him that this titan in the plane crash was not, or seemingly not, dead. He immediately replied, ‘Yes, tomorrow he will be killed.’ It is the last day of his Puja.

I told X not to worry about the whole list of names, that you know them already, but that you had been intrigued by this reduced number of 7 people. He told me, ‘They are the heads of departments.’

... ... ... .. .

X (I forgot to tell you at the beginning of the letter) links the crashing of the titan to the fact that the globe of light has come back into your hands.


 

Sweet Mother, you have already reassured me several times on the subject, but this thought frequently recurs and DISTURBS me, as if there were something not right about the fact that you are here, you, Mother, with all that you mean to me, and the fact that I call X ‘guru’ and prostrate myself at his feet. It is delicate to speak of, because I really feel that X is the guru of a certain thing in me, and I prostrate myself at his feet very spontaneously because I feel that there is something of you in him. And yet it disturbs me, as though I were deceiving you or removing an absolute in my relationship with you. You know, like someone who plays a ‘double game’ – those voices are disgusting. Something keeps repeating, ‘There should be no one but Mother.’ Ah, I don’t know how to explain this to you, but it worries me! So, Sweet Mother, enlighten me or reassure me, or deliver me from what is not right.

I am your child.

Signed: Satprem

@

March 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry

Sweet Mother,

Just now I have left X; he sent me away from his house a few minutes after my arrival: ‘I do not like you to stay here NOW.’ And he added, ‘There is hard work.’ He was doing a japa’ when I arrived at 5 o’clock.

X seems tired, and the child – who is very sensitive – does not seem well either.

This morning, X told me, ‘Last night I have been fighting like a lion.’ And apparently it is not over, although he just told me, ‘He [the titan] has “one.’ I asked him if the titan was dead, and he told me, ‘Yes, yes, closed.’ – But I think he told me this mainly to avoid my questions, and it contradicts his ‘There is hard work.’

I Japa: the systematic and more or less continuous repetition of a mantra.


 

Then X told me, ‘He [the titan] has come to me fighting, but did not dare to come too close, and he asked me: – Why do you give me trouble? – Because it is my duty.’ That is all on this subject.

... ... ... ...

I forgot to tell you that this morning, X told me the following: ‘I would like to come back in Pondicherry after some time, for 15 days or so, and to give initiation to some people here in the Ashram, if Mother permits. Because here, there is need of strong people, some POLICE TO GUARD ...’ And he added, ‘There is no confusion (I think he meant ‘opposition’) between my tradition and the Ashram ...’ Then he added something that meant that the goal pursued was the same. Of course, all this will depend absolutely upon you and your wish (I very clearly perceived from all this that X was speaking as a member of the Ashram who wants to do his best to defend and protect it.)

Your child, with love.

Signed: Satprem

(Mother’s reply)

Undated

It is likely that X came to grips with the Titan who has been after this body since its birth and who attacks and tries to possess all those who draw near me. This Titan is backed by a very powerful asuric force.

The very small number of those in whom I can have full confidence would not submit to the discipline of initiation. Among the others, those who would accept would very probably do so out of ambition, and that would lead to misadventures even more unpleasant than Z’s.


 

@

March 26, 1959

(Concerning Satprem’s most recent peregrinations and his fundamental rebelliousness, which periodically makes him take to the road)

Behind the Titan attacking us particularly now, there is something else. This Titan has been delegated by someone else. He has been there since my birth, was born with me. I felt him when I was very young, but only gradually, as I became conscious of myself, did I understand WHO he was and what was behind him.

This Titan has been specially sent to attack this body, but he can’t do it directly, so he uses people in my entourage. It is something fated: all those around me, who are close to me, and especially those capable of love, have been attacked by him; a few have succumbed, such as that girl in my entourage who was absorbed by him. He follows me like a shadow, and each time there is the least little opening in someone near me, he is there.

The power of this Titan comes from an Asura. There are four Asuras. Two have already been converted, and the other two, the Lord of Death and the Lord of Falsehood, made an attempt at conversion by taking on a physical body – they have been intimately associated with my life. The story of these Asuras would be very interesting to recount ... The Lord of Death disappeared; he lost his physical body, and I don’t know what has become of him.’ As for the other, the Lord of Falsehood, the one who now rules over this earth, he tried hard to be converted, but he found it disgusting!

At times he calls himself the ‘Lord of Nations.’ It is he who sets all wars in motion, and only by thwarting his plans could the last war be won ... This one does not want to be converted, not at all. He wants neither the physical transformation nor the supramental world, for that would spell his end. Besides, he knows ... We talk to each other; beyond all this, we have our relationship. For after all, you see (laughing), I am his mother! One day he told me, ‘I know you will destroy me, but meanwhile, I will create all the havoc possible.’

1. It was Theon.


 

This Asura of Falsehood is the one who delegated the Titan that is always near me. He chose the most powerful Titan there is on earth and sent him specially to attack this body. So even if one manages to enchain or kill this Titan, it is likely that the Lord of Falsehood will delegate another form, and still another, and still another, in order to achieve his aim.

In the end, only the Supramental will have the power to destroy it. When the hour comes, all this will disappear, without any need to do anything.

@

March (?) 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry

Sweet Mother,

When coming out of your room, X told me, ‘With Mother I have spoken my own mother tongue.’

... ... ... .. .

X told me that in 6 months, he would come here to spend an entire month for the initiation and preparing for the initiation. He spoke to me of this in the street after having seen P, and in an enigmatic way he told me something along these lines: ‘Yes, strong men are needed here. The Power is needed.’ I did not clearly understand, for it was said with a lot of innuendo behind it.

I am your child, Sweet Mother.

Signed: Satprem


 

@

March (?) 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem concerning the tantric initiation that Mother wished to see X give to two other disciples at the Ashram)

Pondicherry

Sweet Mother,

I spoke to X about the initiations. He told me that he also had seen only two people (when he said ‘seen,’ I do not think he meant physically). He said that many people would be very eager but rare were those in whom you could have full trust – and perhaps they have reached a stage where it would be difficult for them to submit to the discipline of initiation.

I asked him his feeling about this morning’s Darshan. He answered implying, ‘I have already, in a few seconds, given my feeling to Mother.’

As you also wished to know his feelings about the playground meditation, I asked him. He told me roughly this: that the afternoon’s Sanskrit recording’ would be enough to ‘set things right,’ because there is a Power in it that should help the meditations.

... ... ... ...

X came to my room a little while ago and something happened, I don’t know what, but it was still this same force that he pulls from me with such great power. But mostly, I wanted to tell you that when I got up (I was at his feet), he was as handsome as a god, his look was divine, it really came from very high above.

Your child, with love.

Signed: Satprem

1. A Sanskrit text by X which was to be played at the Ashram playground just prior to the collective meditation.


 

@

End March (?) 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry

Sweet Mother,

Your letter this morning touched me. I keep repeating now, several times a day, that it is an enemy, the enemy.

I am your child, Sweet Mother, and I want this crisis to be THE LAST.

With love.

Signed: Satprem

@

April 7, 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, April 7, 1959

Sweet Mother,

I come to renew before you the resolution that I took this morning at the Samadhi.’

Henceforth I refuse to be an accomplice to this force. It is my enemy. Whatever form it may take, or whatever supports it may find in my nature, I will refuse to yield to it and will cling to you. You are the only reality: that is my mantra. Anything that seeks to make me doubt you is my enemy. You are the only Reality.

And each time I feel the shadow approach, I will call to you, immediately.

May you never again suffer because of me. O Mother, purify me and open my heart.

Your child,

Signed: Satprem

1. Sri Aurobindo’s tomb in the Ashram courtyard.


 

P.S. Perhaps it would be good to tell you of the two supports that this force found in me during the most recent attack:

1) The fact that I am plagued by a lack of time and, occasionally, a certain repugnance for mental work. Then the ensuing suggestion: to have a hut in Rameswaram and devote myself exclusively to inner development.

2) I am very pulled – not constantly, but periodically – by the need to write (not mental things) and exasperated by the fact that this Orpailleur is not published because I have not taken the time to carry out certain corrections. When I am in a good mood, I offer all this to you (is it perhaps a hidden ambition? But I am not so sure; it is rather a need, I believe) and when I am not in a good mood, I ‘fume’ about not having the time to write something else.

Please, enlighten me, Sweet Mother.

Signed: Satprem

(Mother’s reply)

Wednesday morning, 4.8.59

Satprem, my dear child,

Your resolution came straight to me. I sheltered it in the depths of my heart, and with my highest will, I said, ‘So be it.’

Just now, I received your letter confirming my experience. It is good.

I read your P.S. and I understand. This too confirms my feeling. I am not happy that you are plagued with work, and especially urgent work that has to be done quickly – it is contrary to the inner calm and concentration so indispensable for getting rid of one’s difficulties. I am going to do what is necessary to change this situation. Besides, this is why I have been telling you recently that my work is not urgent. But this work for the Bulletin should stop for the moment.

The other point also has its element of truth – we shall speak of it later.

With all my love, I envelope you, my child, and I tell you, ‘Have courage, the victory is certain’ – not a compromise or partial victory, but integral.

Signed: Mother


 

@

April 13, 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, April 13, 1959

Sweet Mother

Here is the outline for the book on Sri Aurobindo for the Éditions du Seuil.*

It is a rough sketch, and in the actual process of writing, the proposed sequence may change according to the inner necessity, but these are the themes to be developed. So now T would like to know what you feel and if you see anything to be changed, added or deleted.

Your child, with love.

Signed: Satprem

@

Undated 1959

(On Anatole France and La Révolte des Anges)

... These children don’t understand [Sri Aurobindo’s irony]. They read it prosaically (gesture indicating the surface). Strangely enough, it’s the same phenomenon when they read Anatole France. And Anatole France, read without understanding his irony, is abominably commonplace.

They don’t grasp the irony.

Sri Aurobindo had it. He understood the irony of Anatole France so well, he had this same thing – so subtle, so refined ...

‘Very good,’ he would say while reading La Révolte des Anges ‘Yes, it is true, which of the two should we believe?’* (Mother laughs).

1. A French publishing house that had asked for a book on Sri Aurobindo to be included in their collection, ‘Spiritual Masters.’

2. Jehovah, or the rebellious Angel who wanted to take his place.


 

@

April 21, 1959

Above, beginning with the center between the eyebrows, the work has been done for a long time. There it is blank. For ages upon ages upon ages, the union with the Supreme has been realized and is constant.

Below this center is the body. And this body has indeed the concrete sensation of the Divine in each of its cells; but it needs to become universalized. That’s the work to be done, center by center. I understand now what Sri Aurobindo meant when he repeatedly insisted, ‘Widen yourself.’ All this must be universalized; it is the condition, the basis, for the Supramental to descend into the body.

According to the ancient traditions, this universalization of the physical body was considered the supreme realization, but it is only a foundation, the base upon which the Supramental can come down without breaking everything.

@

April 23, 1959

(Letter from Mother to Satprem)

Satprem, my dear child, 4.23.59, 7 p.m.

I hope you wrote to X that it is agreed, that we expect him with his family early in the morning of the 30th, and that I am looking forward to our daily morning meditation during his stay.

... ... ... ...

Do tell him that all is well, that we are awaiting his arrival and that I am looking forward to these meditations.

With you always, with love and care.

Signed: Mother

@


 

@

April 24, 1959

(Note sent by Mother to Satprem)

24 April 1959

The divine perfection is always there above us; but for man to become divine in consciousness and act and to live inwardly and outwardly the divine life is what is meant by spirituality; all lesser meanings given to the word are inadequate fumblings or impostures.’

@

Early May 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry

Sweet Mother,

I have just spoken for a few minutes with X. He came out of your room extremely ‘moved’ (in his deep way). ‘I was standing before Mother and I no longer knew where I was. At the end of fifteen minutes, I found myself there.’ And several times, he said,

‘Great Power, Great Power ... An Ocean. She ONLY can understand ...’ And as I expressed my surprise – for while going to your room, he had told me that he would begin this special ‘japa’ standing before you only tomorrow – he told me, ‘When I went into Mother’s room, I felt the Order come from above, and I began immediately.’

He told me that this japa with you should last 3 days in succession; consequently, that takes care of the question of interviews, as you will be occupied until Wednesday or Thursday. He told me that 10:15 would be better for him (that can also mean 10:20) because he only finishes the first part of his puja at about 10 o’clock, which is what made us late this morning (he was still ‘sitting’ when I went to fetch him). Furthermore, X is always ‘unexpected’ in his acts, and he has scarcely any notion of time. He told me, ‘You understand, here I am in the house of Annapurna’ and I am so happy to be able to do my japa and my puja without being disturbed by my family worries. At last, here, I can live for That only. There is a great vibration everywhere.’ So he forgets about time.

I This text by Sri Aurobindo (The Human Cycle, Cent. Ed. Vol. XV p. 247) was translated into French by Mother on the occasion of writing to Satprem.


 

Your child,

Signed: Satprem

P.S. The divinity invoked in his present pujas is Durga.

@

May 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry

Sweet Mother,

He was even more overwhelmed today when he came down from your room than yesterday. It was physically visible. He said nothing, except again that you ‘only’ could understand.

... ... ... ...

Then, suddenly looking at me with his third eye, he spoke of me, and said quite enigmatically, ‘I don’t know why THESE THOUGHTS come to me every time I think of you ...’ (I don’t know what thoughts he is referring to) and he added, ‘You will come TWO months to Rameswaram – l shall ask Mother – SUCH A THING is going to take place ... When the time comes I shall write to you, and you will stay with me.’ These are his exact words, which could mean just about anything.

This morning, just before going into your room, he hesitated uneasily, because he saw someone through the slightly ajar door of your antechamber. He asked me who it was, but I urged him towards you, telling him it was nothing. If such a thing could be avoided, it would be better.

1. Annapurna: ‘She who nourishes the world,’ wife of Shiva, one of the aspects of the supreme Mother.


 

Oh! How overwhelmed he was when he came down your stairway! It took him at least five minutes to pull himself together.

Your child,

Signed: Satprem

@

Early May 1959

(Letter from Mother to Satprem)

Thursday, 1 o’clock

Satprem, my dear child,

I have received your letter with the news.

Concerning Z, X himself told me that he had initiated him last evening (but he didn’t say more). It seems that the kundalini was awakened and the current was so strong that Z’s eyes became all red.

... ... ... ...

Did X tell you anything of our meditation this morning? Do not ask him any questions. But if he speaks of it, I would be happy to know what he says.

Always with you, in love and light.

Signed: Mother

@


 

@

May 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, May 1959

Sweet Mother,

I read your letter to X.’ He immediately said, ‘I shall explain tomorrow.’ Then he added this: ‘Usually, before going to Mother I concentrate on the Divinity on which we are going to meditate, or by which we are going to get help. Thus, some Divinity (goddess) comes and with it the ceremony and ritual and colors. I shall explain more tomorrow.’ As I am wary of his ‘tomorrows,’ I insisted, especially in regard to the luminous globe 2 and I asked if it were the same thing as the Shakti of the other experiences. He said it was not, that it was different, and he repeated ‘more tomorrow.’ Then, by way of concluding, he said to me, ‘It is very good, very good.’

... ... ... ...

Tomorrow, I shall be there at 9:30 a.m.

I am at your feet, Sweet Mother, with gratitude. I am a hard case, but I love you all the same.

Signed: Satprem

@

May 7, 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, May 7, 1959

Sweet Mother,

1. In which Mother had asked about certain experiences that occurred during her meditations with X.

2. Another globe, or perhaps the same one, but this time orange colored.


 

I spoke of your experience, but with all these people we scarcely have time to speak, so I was unable to give many details or to get any very clear explanation. X is well acquainted with this Light – these luminous bluish-violet waves with the white bar running through the center. He gave me his own description, which coincides exactly with yours ... In short, he wanted to say that perhaps this Light was the result of his concentrating upon you, even when he is in Rameswaram. I spoke to him of the universalization of your body. He nodded, like someone who understands, but without making any comment. As for the orange globe, this is what he said: ‘Every time, before meditation with Mother, I utter some letters. And as you know, each letter has a color. There are 51 ways to combine letters, and there are 51 “paths,” or 51 places in the body where the force can act. Thus the orange globe is probably the effect of some letters; it may be some protection for her body.’ In any case, he seemed to find it quite normal that your experiences of this bluish-violet light began approximately at the same time as your relationship, and in all the pujas there are these ‘diagrams’ or ‘Yantras’ that always have geometric forms. (One day he told me, ‘Those diagrams are the stations for the goddesses to come down.’)

When I went to get D this evening, she told me that she was in the grip of some difficulties, as if this mantra had provoked a backlash. X immediately did some little operation, and she left all smiling.

For me, this is what he said: ‘Tomorrow I shall give you another mantra of three letters. Now I am going to change the Power into a feminine form. After some time you will see a small girl appear in front of you, a girl of about 10, and SHE WILL COME TO HELP YOU. This mantra you will have to repeat 3 lahks* for three months. And after three months, I shall give you FULL initiation.’ Then he explained to me that the sea could not be made to enter into a vase at one stroke; rather, the body had to become accustomed little by little and, precisely, the sadhana is meant to accustom the body more and more to receive the vastness of the Power (to put it very succinctly).

Your child,

Signed: Satprem

1. 300,000 times.


 

@

May 19, 1959

When you follow the ascending path, the work is relatively easy. I had already covered this path by the beginning of the century and had established a constant relationship with the Supreme – That which is beyond the Personal and the gods and all the outward expressions of the Divine, but also beyond the Absolute Impersonal. It’s something you cannot describe; you must experience it. And this is what must be brought down into Matter. Such is the descending path, the one I began with Sri Aurobindo; and there, the work is immense.

The thing can still be brought down as far as the mental and vital planes (although Sri Aurobindo said that thousands of lifetimes would be needed merely to bring it down to the mental plane, unless one practiced a perfect surrender’). With Sri Aurobindo, we went down below Matter, right into the Subconscient and even into the Inconscient. But after the descent comes the transformation, and when you come down to the body, when you attempt to make it take one step forward – oh, not even a real step, just a little step! – everything starts grating; it’s like stepping on an anthill ... And yet the presence, the help of the supreme Mother, is there constantly; thus you realize that for ordinary men such a task is impossible, or else millions of lives would be needed – but in truth, unless the work is done for them and the sadhana of the body done for the entire earth consciousness, they will never achieve the physical transformation, or else it will be so remote that it is better not even to speak of it. But if they open themselves, if they give themselves over in an integral surrender, the work can be done for them – they have only to let it be done.

The path is difficult. And yet this body is full of good will; it is filled with the psychic in every one of its cells. It’s like a child. The other day, it cried out quite spontaneously, ‘O my Sweet Lord, give me the time to realize You!’ It did not ask to hasten the process, it did not ask to lighten its work; it only asked for enough TIME to do the work. ‘Give me the time!’

1. Original English.


 

I could have begun this work on the body thirty years ago, but I was constantly caught up in this harassing ashram life. It took this illness’ to enable me truly to begin doing the sadhana of the body. It does not mean that thirty years were wasted, for it is likely that had I been able to start this work thirty years ago, it would have been premature. The consciousness of the others also had to develop – the two are linked, the individual progress and the collective progress, and one cannot advance if the other does not advance.

I have also come to realize that for this sadhana of the body, the mantra is essential. Sri Aurobindo gave none; he said that one should be able to do all the work without having to resort to external means. Had he reached the point where we are now, he would have seen that the purely psychological method is inadequate and that a japa is necessary, because only japa has a direct action on the body. So I had to find the method all alone, to find my mantra by myself. But now that things are ready, I have done ten years of work in a few months. That is the difficulty, it requires time ...

And I repeat my mantra constantly – when I am awake and even when I sleep. I say it even when I am getting dressed, when I eat, when I work, when I speak with others; it is there, just behind in the background, all the time, all the time.

In fact, you can immediately see the difference between those who have a mantra and those who don’t. With those who have no mantra, even if they have a strong habit of meditation or concentration, something around them remains hazy and vague. Whereas the japa imparts to those who practice it a kind of precision, a kind of solidity: an armature. They become galvanized, as it were.

@

1. In December 1958, when Mother stopped the Questions and Answers at the playground and thereafter left the Ashram building only rarely.


 

@

May 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, May 1959

Sweet Mother,

You have rid me of my headache in a spectacular way, not to mention the beginning of an infection in a wisdom tooth. So I am writing you.

... ... ... ...

I was prompted to speak to X about the financial difficulties of the Ashram and I took the opportunity to tell him about the subtle ‘détente’ that has occurred. I told him that you had wondered whether he had not done something (I am putting all this very succinctly). He replied that as soon as he returned to Rameswaram, he made a special puja of gratitude to you for three days and prayed to his divinity to repay you a hundredfold (these are my words; I am translating freely what X meant). So I spoke to him of these men with their crores of rupees coming near the Ashram and of the money that is suddenly diverted in another direction by a hostile thrust. All this left him reflective. I will speak to him another time of what you are trying to realize here materially. He has felt something.

Your child, with love.

Signed: Satprem

@

May 25, 1959

(Letter from Mother to Satprem)

Tuesday, 1 o’clock

Satprem, my dear child,

I can only repeat the prayer that I made to the Supreme Lord this morning:

‘May Your Will be done in all things and at every moment. And may Your Love manifest.’


 

As for you, I received your promise made very solemnly at a moment of clear consciousness, and I am sure you will not fail in it.

My love is with you.

Signed: Mother

(Satprem’s reply)

May 27, 1959

Mother,

If it is to make me feel all my wrongs that you remind me of my ‘solemn promise,’ then I am ready to acknowledge all these wrongs. I am guilty, without any extenuating circumstances, and I expect no indulgence.

I can easily understand that your task on this earth is not particularly encouraging and you must find our human matter stupid and rebellious. I do not wish to throw upon you more bad things than you already receive, but I wish you could also understand certain things. I am not made for this withered life, not made for putting sentences together all day long, not made for living alone in my hole – friendless, loveless, with nothing but mantras, and waiting for a better that never comes. For three years I have wanted to leave and each time I yielded out of scruples that you needed me, though also because I am attached to you. But after the [book on] ‘Sri Aurobindo,’ there will be something else, there will always be something else that will make my departure look like a ‘betrayal.’ I am fed up with living in my head, always in my head, with paper and ink. It was not of this that I dreamed when I was ten years old and ran with the wind over the untamed heaths. I am suffocating. You ask too much of me; or rather, I am not worth your expectation.

A love for you might have held me here. And indeed, for you I have devotion, veneration, respect, an attachment, but there has never been this marvelous thing, warm and full, that links one to a being in the same beating of a heart. Through love, I could do all, accept all, endure all, sacrifice all – but I do not feel this love. You cannot ‘give yourself’ with your head, through a mental decision, yet that is what I have been doing for five years. I have tried to serve you as best I could. But I am at the end of my rope. I am suffocating.

I have no illusions, and I do not at all suppose that elsewhere my life may at last be fulfilled. No, I know that this whole life is cursed, but it may as well be truly cursed. If the Divine does not


want to give me his Love, may he give me his curse. But not this life between two worlds. Or if I am too hardened, may he break me. But not this tepidness, this approximation.

I am not really bad, Mother, but I can no longer bear this life without love. That is all.

There is someone here who could have saved me, whom I could have loved. Oh, it has nothing to do with all those things you might imagine! My soul loves her soul. It is something very serene. We have known each other for five years, and I had never even dreamed of calling it love. But all the outer circumstances are against us. And I do not want to turn anyone away from you. Anyway, if I sink into the depths of the pit, or so I tell myself, it is no reason to drag someone else along with me. So this too is one more reason for me to leave. I cannot continue suffocating all alone in my corner. (It is useless to ask her name, I will say nothing.)

You are imposing a new ordeal on me by asking me to go to Rameswaram. For you, I have accepted. But I shall go there sheathed in my sturdiest armor and I will not yield, because I know that it is always to be begun again. I do not want to become a ‘great Tantric’ or whatever else it may be. I want only to love. And since I cannot love, I am leaving. I will arrive in Rameswaram at 2 in the morning, and will leave again by the 11 o’clock train.

I want to go to New Caledonia. There, or elsewhere ... there are forests there. Africa is closing up. You must help me one last time by giving me the means to leave and try something else with a minimum of chance – although, at the point I’m at, I laugh in the face of ‘chance.’ I need 2,000 rupees, if that is possible for you. If you do not want to, or if you cannot, I will leave anyway, no matter where, no matter how.

And once again, you can judge me all you want, I acknowledge all my wrongs. I am guilty in a guilty and stupid world (which loves its stupidity, no doubt).

Signed: Satprem

The ‘aphorisms’ will be ready tomorrow.

I have nothing more to add.


 

(Mother’s reply)

5.28.59

Satprem, my dear child,

This morning, the problem and its solution appeared to me very clearly; but since, for quite obvious reasons, I am both the judge and the accused in this matter, I cannot make a decision; not that my judgment would necessarily be egoistic, but it would have no authority.

Only someone who loves you and has the knowledge can find the true solution to the problem. X’ fulfills these conditions excellently. Go to him and simply be what you are, without blackening nor embellishing, with the sincerity and simplicity of a child. He knows your soul and its aspiration; speak to him of your physical life and of your need for space, solitude, untamed nature, the simple and free life. He will understand and, in his wisdom, will see the best thing to do.

And what he decides will be done.

My love is unalterably with you.

Signed: Mother

@

May 28, 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Pondicherry, May 28, 1959

Mother,

I do not want you to suffer because of me, for there is already too much suffering in this world. I shall do what you wish. I will go to Rameswaram and I will stay there as long as X wants. I have seen that there is no happy solution. So I bow before the circumstances.

1. The disciple’s tantric guru.


 

If it is not too tiring for your eyes, I would like you to read what follows. I want to tell you what I have seen, very clearly.

After the wave of rebelliousness this morning, I was seized by a great sadness, a great bitterness, as though I were being confronted with a profound injustice.

There is a spiritual destiny in me, but there are three other destinies so intimately bound up with it that I cannot cut off any one without mutilating something of my living soul – which is why, periodically, these suppressed destinies awaken and call to me – and the dark forces seize upon these occasions to sow chaos within and drive me to ruin everything since I cannot really fulfill myself. And the problem is insoluble.

1) There is the destiny of the adventurer: it is the one in me that needs the sea or the forest and wide open spaces and struggles. This was the best part of my childhood. I can sit on it and tell myself that ‘the adventure is within,’ and it might ‘work’ for a while. But this untamed child in me continues to live all the same, and it is something very valuable in me. I cannot kill it through reasoning, even spiritual reasoning. And if I tell it that everything lies ‘within,’ not ‘without,’ it replies, ‘Then why was I born, why this manifestation in the outer world?’ In the end, it is not a question of reasoning. It is a fact, like the wind upon the heaths.

2) There is the destiny of the writer in me. And this too is linked to the best of my soul. It is also a profound need, like adventuring upon the heaths, because when I write certain things, I breathe in a certain way. But during the five years I have been here, I have had to bow to the fact that, materially, there is no time to write what I would like (I recall how I had to wrench out this Orpailleur, which I have not even had time to revise). This is not a reproach, Mother, for you do all you can to help me. But I realize that to write, one must have leisure, and there are too many less personal and more serious things to do. So I can also sit on this and tell myself that I am going to write a ‘Sri Aurobindo’ – but this will not satisfy that other need in me, and periodically it awakens and sprouts up to tell me that it too needs to breathe.

3) There is also the destiny that feels human love as something divine, something that can be transfigured and become a very powerful driving force. I did not believe it possible, except in dreams, until the day I met someone here. But you do not believe in these things, so I shall not speak of it further. I can gag this also and tell myself that one day all will be filled in the inner


divine love. But that does not prevent this other need in me from living and from finding that life is dry and from saying, ‘Why this outer manifestation if all life is in the inner realms?’ But neither can I stifle this with reasoning.

So there remains the pure spiritual destiny, pure interiorization. That is what I have been trying to do for the last five years, without much success. There are good periods of collaboration, because one part of my being can be happy in any condition. But in a certain way this achievement remains truncated, especially when you base spiritual life on a principle of integrality. And these three destinies in me have their own good reasons, which are true: they are not inferior, they are not incidental, they are woven from the very threads that created the spiritual life in me. My error is to open the door to revolt when I feel too poignantly one or the other being stifled.

So you see, all this is insoluble. I have only to bow before these unfortunate circumstances. I perceive an injustice somewhere, but I have only to remain silent.

... ... ... ...

And I was also struck when you told me that I wanted to ‘kick up a row.’ You so clearly implied that I was leaving the Ashram in a ‘shoddy’ way. So that also froze me. I thought I had done my best and, in order to serve you, repressed as much as I could the others in me.

So there. I can find no solution. X will not understand, and I will not say anything to him. But I obey you because everything is futile and there is too much pain in this world, and also someone in me needs you, someone who loves you in his own way.

Signed: Satprem

(Mother’s reply)

Friday, 5.29.59

Satprem, my dear little one,

I have read your letter in its entirety and I remain convinced that one day all the parts of your being, without excluding any, will be fully satisfied. But we shall see about that later.

For the moment, I only want to tell you, from the bottom of my heart – which is so deeply touched – thank you.

With all my love.

Signed: Mother


 

I will see you tomorrow morning at ten o’clock and I hope that a few small misunderstandings may be clarified.

I am sending you forthwith the note that I had prepared for tomorrow morning.

(Note from Mother to Satprem)

I did not utter the words that you heard – I wanted to speak to you of my experience during the night, but I was paralyzed because I clearly felt that you no longer understood me. As soon as I received your letter, I concentrated on you in an effort to help you, and when night fell, just at the hour I enter into contact with X, I called for his help – whereupon he sent me this little Kali whom he had already sent once before. So I went to your house, I took you in my arms and pressed you tightly to my heart to keep you as sheltered as possible from blows, and I let Kali do her warrior dance against this titan who is always trying to possess you, creating this rebelliousness in you. She must have at least partially succeeded in her work, because very early in the morning the titan went away somewhat discomfited, but while leaving, he flung this at me as he went by: ‘You will regret it, for you would have had less trouble if he had left.’ I flung his suggestion back in his face with a laugh and told him, ‘Take that, along with all the rest of your ugly person! I have no need of it!’ And the atmosphere cleared up.

I wanted to tell you all this, but I couldn’t because you were still far away from me and it would have seemed like boasting. Also the misunderstanding created by the distance made you hear other words than those I uttered.

June 3, 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem, while travelling)

Rameswaram, June 3, 1959

Sweet Mother,

On your behalf, I told X that you had been worried about me.


 

He, too, had felt that things were not going well and had ‘worked’ on his side. He told me to write you immediately to tell you that ‘everything is all right.’

... ... ... ...

Also, I explained to him that a mantra had come to you which you were repeating between 5 and 6 in particular, and I told him about this culminating point where you wanted to express your gratitude, enthusiasm, etc., and about the French mantra. After explaining, I gave him your French and Sanskrit texts. He felt and understood very well what you wanted. His first reaction after reading it was to say, ‘Great meaning, great power is there. It is all right.’ I told him that apart from the meaning of the mantra, you wanted to know if it was all right from the ‘vibrational’ standpoint. He told me that he would take your text to his next puja and would repeat it himself to see. He should have done that this morning, but he has a fever (since his return from Madurai, he has not been well because of a cold and sunstroke). I will write you as soon as I know the result of his ‘test.’

Regarding me, this is more or less what he said: ‘First of all, I want an agreement from you so that under any circumstances you never leave the Ashram. Whatever happens, even if Yama’ comes to dance at your door, you should never leave the Ashram. At the critical moment, when the attack is the strongest, you should throw everything into His hands, then and then only the thing can be removed (I no longer know whether he said’ removed’ or destroyed ). It is the only way. SARVAM MAMA BRAHMAN [Thou art my sole refuge]. Here in Rameswaram, we are going to meditate together for 45 days, and the Asuric-Shakti may come with full strength to attack, and I shall try my best not only to protect but to destroy, but for that, I need your determination. It is only by your own determination that I can get strength. If the force comes to make suggestions: lack of adventure, lack of Nature, lack of love, then think that I am the forest, think that I am the sea, think that I am the wife (!!)’ Meanwhile, X has nearly doubled the number of repetitions of the mantra that I have to say every day (it is the same mantra he gave me in Pondicherry). X repeated to me again and again that I am not merely a ‘disciple’ to him, like the others, but as if his son.

This was a first, hasty conversation, and we did not discuss things at length. I said nothing. I have no confidence in my reactions when I am in the midst of my crises of complete negation. And truly speaking, at the time of my last crisis in Pondicherry, I do not know if it was really X’s occult working that set things right, for personally (but perhaps it is an ignorant impression), I felt that it was thanks to Sujata and her childlike simplicity that I was able to get out of it.

1. Yama: the god of Death in the Hindu pantheon.


 

In any event, since I left Pondicherry, I have been living like a kind of robot (it began in the train); I am empty, void of the least feeling for whomever it may be. I keep going by a kind of acquired momentum, but actually I feel completely anesthetized.

Excuse my handwriting. I am writing to you lying on the floor of the dharamshala’ near X’s house, for the ‘hut’ meant for me is not yet ready.

Suddenly, last evening, X went furiously on the warpath against the Indian ‘Congress’* and with an irrefutable tone, like someone who knows, began making very interesting predictions.

Before five months are over (in September, October or November), Pakistan will attack India with the help or the complicity or the military resources of the United States. And at about the same time, China will attack India because of the Dalai Lama, under the pretext that India is supporting the Dalai Lama and that thousands of Tibetan refugees are escaping into India to carry on anti-Chinese activities. Then America will offer its support to India against China and then, said X, ‘We shall see what will be the political policy of the Congress Party, which pretends to be unaligned with any bloc. If India accepts American aid, there will be no more Pakistan but rather American troops to prevent conflicts between Muslims and Hindus, and a single government for both countries.’ I pointed out to X that this sounded very much like a world war ...

Then he made the following comparison: ‘When you throw a pebble into a pond, there is just one center, one point where it falls, and everything radiates out from this center. There are two such centers in the world at present, two places where there are great vibrations: one is India and Pakistan, and that will radiate all over Asia. And the other is ... ‘

In any case, I had never heard him attacking the Congress as he did yesterday evening, almost violently.

1. A caravansary, or Indian style shelter.

2. Indian National Congress: the formative freedom organization against the British that became India’s major political party under Jawaharlal Nehru after independence.


 

That is all, Sweet Mother. In spite of my anesthesia, I think of you. (I am not blocked; on the contrary, it seems to me that the bond has been renewed since our last meeting, but I feel strangely empty.) I am unable to understand how you can love me. Oh Mother, I have truly to begin living, truly loving! Your child,

Signed: Satprem

(Mother’s reply)

6.4.59

My very dear child,

I received and read your very interesting letter.

As for the Sanskrit text and the mantra, I await your next letter.

For you, I fully approve of what he told you. Fervently, and with all my love, I pray that he will succeed in what he wants to do during these 45 days of meditation. This is really what I was counting on.

For what occurred here, I can say only one thing: when the Supreme Lord wants to save someone, He clothes his will in every appearance necessary.

As for the emptiness you feel (which perhaps is already better): to those who complained of this sensation of inner emptiness, Sri Aurobindo always said that it is a very good thing; it is the sign that they are going to be filled with something better and truer.

I have carefully noted X’s predictions.

Certainly his political rage is not only understandable but justified. However, when one begins looking at things from the external viewpoint of the manifestation, they are not as simple as that. I cannot speak of all this in detail, but as an example I can tell you that here in Pondicherry, those who are maneuvering (and not without some hope) to oust the Congress are our worst enemies, the enemy of all that is disinterested and spiritual, and if they come to power, they would be capable of anything in their hate.

For all these world events, I always leave it to the Divine vision and wisdom, and I say to the Supreme: ‘Lord, may Thy Will be done.’

I hope to hear from you soon.

My love is with you.

Signed: Mother

@


 

@

June 4, 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Rameswaram, June 4, 1959

Sweet Mother,

... ... ... ...

Regarding X’s predictions which I mentioned in yesterday’s letter, X said something untranslatable which meant, ‘Let us see Mother’s reactions’ – for I told him that I had written it all to you. Then he said, ‘There are several other secret matters which I shall tell you.’ And he added, by way of example, ‘I shall tell WHERE the atomic bombs will be cropped.’ So if these things interest you, or if you see or feel anything, perhaps it would be good to express your interest in a letter to me which I would translate for X. Spontaneously, I emphasized to X that it would undoubtedly facilitate your work to have details. But it is better that these things come from you, should you see any use in it.

As for me, X said, ‘Something will happen.’

I need you, Sweet Mother.

Your child,

Signed: Satprem

(Mother’s reply)

6.6.5 9

Satprem, my very dear child, yesterday evening I received your second letter dated the 4th,

Regarding my mantra, I began repeating it yesterday before receiving your letter, and I felt that it was all right. So if X makes no alterations, it is not necessary to send it back to me. I receive the force X gives me without paper.

I do not know if it is an illusion, but on several occasions I felt that if X says this mantra, it will cure his fever.

As for the predictions, I am extremely interested. Tell this to X, and also that details of this kind are a great help in my work, for they give physical clues enabling a greater precision in the action. Needless to say, I will be very grateful for any indications he may wish to give me.


 

For you, my dear child, it is true that ‘something must happen and will happen.’ Will you please tell X on my behalf that I will participate with all my power in what he wants to undertake. He will understand.

I am with you and wish to repeat to you: infinite is the Grace and invincible is the Love; be confident and will the victory, for this is what X means by your collaboration.

Signed: Mother

@

June 7, 1959

(Letter to Mother from Satprem)

Rameswaram, June 7, 1959

Sweet Mother,

I thought certain details from my conversations with X might interest you:

1) X spoke to me of the Vedic times when a single ‘emperor’ or sage ruled the entire world with the help of ‘governors’; then these governors gradually became independent kings, and conflicts were born. So I asked him what was going to happen after this next war and whether the world would be better. He replied as follows: ‘Yes, great sages like Sri Aurobindo who are wandering now in their subtle bodies will appear. Some sages may take the physical body of political leaders in the W