Institut de Recherches Evolutives
142 blvd du Montparnasse
January 1, 1971
(On this day all the disciples filed silently past Mother, who is still unwell, sitting in her chair.)
Blessed are those who take a leap towards the Future
January 11, 1971
(This fragment was noted from memory by a disciple following the long physical ordeal Mother went through for nearly a month and a half.)
Physical vision requires a much more continuous concentration. The physical vision serves to stabilize. It gives continuity to things. The same with hearing. So when neither of them are there, you become conscious of the thing directly, which gives you the true knowledge of it. That is probably how the Supermind will work.
My physical vision and hearing have been pushed into the background to be replaced by identity through consciousness – for the growth of consciousness.
The way of relating to things, of knowing, is through an identification of the consciousness with the thing or person. Instead of having the usual sense of separateness, you have a constant sense of union. There are quite interesting experiences. People call me and think about me. That comes into my field of consciousness. And after some time I am told, “So and so has come,” or “Something has happened to so and so,” and I say, “I know.” I wasn’t told anything at the time it happened, but I was conscious of it as if it were happening to a part of me.
January 16, 1971
(Satprem has not seen Mother since last December 2. The latest turning point in her yoga has just occurred, similar to those of 1962 and 1968. Her small voice quivers and is lost in a murmur, yet her laugh is fresh as a young girl’s.)
I am happy to see you!
Good morning, Mother.
Are you feeling better?
Yes, Mother. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you....
Yes.... One of my legs went dead for a long time – it’s just starting to come back to life – it was paralyzed. This leg (the left). So naturally everything was difficult.... I had an intestinal ulcer, but that didn’t last long. It was more serious but it didn’t last. An intestinal ulcer. But what ties me down is this leg that became paralyzed. (Mother touches her left leg.) The lower part of it, from the knee to the heel. So naturally you become an imbecile!
You are completely helpless.
But then it means a lot of work is being done, doesn’t it?
What was remarkable (I want to tell you this right away) is that the consciousness established there (gesture above her head) has grown stronger and stronger and clearer and clearer. And it’s CONSTANT. I worked – I went on working – not only for India but for the world, and in touch (“consulted,” you understand), actively.
As for the transformation, I don’t know.... What I had explained about the “replacement of the consciousness” (the transfer) went on methodically, methodically, absolutely methodically and continuously, but with ... some apparent impairment, or at least the capacities of my body were greatly diminished for a certain time. But there is a curious phenomenon concerning sight and hearing: from time to time they’re clear, as clear as can be, and at other times they’re completely blurred. And it has very, very clearly another origin – another origin of influence. But I think it will take months before I can understand it. In any case, the general consciousness (gesture above her head), what could be called the universal consciousness (or at least terrestrial), hasn’t budged for one minute – not one single minute. It has stayed there all the time. Only, you’re a complete imbecile; you know how it is when you can’t do anything: you’re helpless, you can’t even go from your chair to the bed, you can’t do anything – one leg isn’t there.
Even now I can’t walk unaided, I need someone to hold me up.
But it will come back, Mother.
It is coming back. It is coming back little by little. There was a time when it was total: it was cold as ice. There was no circulation. Something had blocked the circulation. Now it’s better, it’s coming back to life.
Only, I thought of the Bulletin, we can’t leave the Bulletin like that. Did you prepare it?
Yes, it’s all ready, Mother. I’ve already given it to the Press.
Oh, what did you give?
(Mother gives some packages of soup)
Thank you, Mother....
First, “The Synthesis of Yoga” (the chapter on “The Liberation of the Spirit”),
then “Conversations with Pavitra,” then “Thoughts and Aphorisms” commented on
by you, and then “Mother Answers,” and finally two old Talks of
Oh, that’s ... [old].
But they’re very interesting.
For example, someone asks you why you don’t have disciples of higher quality to do the work here.
(Mother laughs whole-heartedly, her laugh is so refreshing!)
He’s a severe critic!
So you answer that if you had very “realized” people, they would probably be more resistant to your influence.
(Mother nods her head)
Did you see what Z noted down [note of January 11, 1971]?
Yes, Mother, I’ve seen it.
What did you think of it?
I thought it probably would have to be like that: it’s the beginning of a new functioning.
It’s a new functioning. It’s interesting. In fact I was thinking that perhaps I could explain it to you if you ask me a question or two. And then, maybe it could be used [for the Bulletin], so there’s not an abrupt break in the continuity.
Is it your perception of people and circumstances that has changed? Your way of perceiving things?
Yes, completely – completely. It’s very strange....
Basically, all that time was used to develop the consciousness of the physical being. It really seems as if this physical being (Mother touches her body) had been prepared for another consciousness, because for certain things ... its reactions are entirely different, its attitude is different. I went through a period of total indifference in which the world represented ... meant nothing. And then little by little a kind of new perception grew out of it.
I am only in the middle of it.
But I was thinking that for the Bulletin perhaps we could put a note that would connect the different periods, because going abruptly, without any bridge from what was to what will be – what I feel will be – would be very difficult to understand.
How did you feel about that note?... I am all the more interested because I didn’t have any contact with anyone at that point: Z happened to be cleaning the room while the others were busy – they were my legs to do things! It was quite a physical task, you know: to get me from a chair to an armchair and from the armchair to the bed.... It was really bad, I was like a child – worse, worse because the rest of the body, all the rest of the body was normal, but for some time one of my legs was simply ... it was as if it were finished, as if there were nothing there. And little by little, little by little it came back. That was the final period. But it was not an innocent paralysis! For at least three weeks – at least – for three weeks there was a continuous pain, night and day, 24 hours out of 24, without any letup, none whatsoever: it was as if everything were being torn out of me.... You know, I don’t usually complain, but I was almost forced to cry out loud all the time. So, of course, there was no question of seeing anyone. Now it’s over. The pain is quite bearable and the body has resumed a somewhat normal existence.
But I wanted to tell you that my consciousness was actively with you all the time; I thought: if he feels it, so much the better; if he doesn’t ... it doesn’t matter.
I felt the Power very intensely.
Oh, then that’s it.
Yes, quite instantaneously, quite immediately.
Then it’s all right.
Above all, I thought that if it had gone down into your legs, that meant it had now completely gone down into matter.
Yes, exactly! But I took it that way too. Not only was it the leg, but the lower part of the leg (Mother points to her feet). This one (Mother touches her right leg) was on the verge of being paralyzed also, but the day it happened, I concentrated with a vengeance, I walked for a long, long time to keep it from being paralyzed. I managed to keep it from being paralyzed; only this one (left one) was stricken.
But the whole body has changed drastically. For example, with respect to food, I have absolutely no appetite – none whatsoever. For a time, I even felt disgusted, a kind of disgust for food – it was very difficult because they wanted to force me to eat just the same. To me eating seemed like something ... miserable, you know, without any meaning, exactly as if I had never eaten in my life. Out of sheer effort I managed to go on taking what is considered indispensable (laughing) to keep the body alive!
It nearly became serious when an ulcer erupted in the intestines. An ulcer erupted, and then naturally there was no question of eating.... But I have noticed how those things, the so-called catastrophes or calamities or mishaps or difficulties or ... how they all come JUST at the right moment to help you – JUST when it’s needed to help you.... You see, everything in the physical nature that still belonged to the old world and its habit and ways of doing and being and acting, all that couldn’t be (handled is the word), it couldn’t be handled in any other way than this: by illness.
The doctors were quite concerned about the intestinal ulcer. If it had perforated, it would have been very, very serious – the ordinary recourse is an operation, so.... The doctors were quite concerned. But they didn’t show anything, I didn’t know about it – I found out about the ulcer only when it was healed (I mean when it was in the process of healing).
It certainly was interesting.
But personally, even physically I kept a contact with everyone – I don’t know who remained conscious of it, but I kept a contact with everyone, especially with you; with you I had the feeling that nothing stopped, that I was seeing you regularly, that nothing stopped. And I saw Sujata too. It all depends on people’s receptivity. I didn’t have the slightest feeling there was a break in our relationship or anything of that kind – not the slightest. And it’s only ... well, it’s only the day before yesterday that I thought, “Oh, it must be time for the Bulletin, perhaps I should find out what he’s done....” And then there was that note of Z’s ... (what shall I say?) it came as the result of something, and it was also the beginning of something, in a most definite manner. I didn’t know, and Z was there at the time cleaning the room, so I told her, and after telling her, I thought perhaps it could be used.
I don’t know how she noted it down, whether it makes sense....
Yes, it makes sense.
You found it comprehensible?
Yes. You were saying that the whole functioning of sight and hearing had probably been suppressed so that you may be conscious of things directly, without using the sense organs.
Yes, but that note is already ancient history, because I have started to see again, but in another way. I have started to see and hear again.
In essence, you see and hear according to what is necessary.
Oh, yes, exactly, that’s quite true! It’s quite true. I hear what’s necessary for me to hear, even if it’s a very faint sound, but all the sounds of conversation, all the things that make a lot of noise, I don’t hear at all! ... Something is changed. Only it’s old – it’s old, I mean, it has an old habit pattern. Although fortunately I was never a creature of habit.... Yes (smiling), you could say: it’s as if something quite tough was in the process of changing! So it lacks suppleness, ease. But the change is there – the change is definite. I have changed VERY MUCH, even in character, in comprehension, in the vision of things – very, very much. There’s been a whole rearrangement.
But, I didn’t know whether that note could be used in a way for people to understand.
Yes, Mother, it’s possible by adding what you’ve just said today.
You think something can be done?
All right then. It’s just that people should not be left hanging like that: all of a sudden, nothing. Afterwards you’re so far ahead that they are completely lost. I just thought perhaps you could do something – it doesn’t have to be long.
I am happy you felt my presence because it was something quite obvious for me.... And what about you? Are you all right?
Yes, Mother, I am very well.
Yes, yes, Mother.
Did your mother come?
Yes, she’s here.
She is happy?
Yes, very happy.
How long is she going to stay?
Till the end of the month.
Then I’ll see her before she leaves.
Oh, Mother, there are so many people you should see before her!
Anyhow, one thing is that I feel freed from all rules and obligations! (general laughter) That was the chief result of all that. All the “you have to do this, you have to do that,” gone!
Well, certainly the principle of the new consciousness is that things are done exactly when they are necessary, and that’s that.
There isn’t any planning and anticipation.
Yes, that’s it.
(Mother sits looking)
The world is in a dreadful state.
Yet, I’ve never felt the turning point so close as I do now.
Yes, yes, that’s absolutely right. Exactly.
I have the feeling it’s very close.
Yes, yes, very close.
So, mon petit, I’ll see you when you think it’s necessary.
I could read you what I am going to prepare for the Bulletin. Today is Saturday ... whenever you like.
When will it be ready?
It can be ready tomorrow, Mother.
Then come tomorrow, it’s better for the Press. I am happy to see you....
(Mother takes Satprem’s hands)
Do you (turning to Sujata) know I was with you all the time? Do you know that?
(Mother touches with her finger the tip of Sujata’s nose.)
(Mother remains looking at Sujata for a while, then resumes)
For an entire period I was absolutely inaccessible because I was in constant pain, so I was just useless – it was absolutely continuous. You could say I was just a cry all the time. It lasted a long time. It lasted several weeks (I didn’t keep track). Then, gradually, it alternated with moments of peace when the pain in the leg subsided. And for the last two or three days, it seems to be recovering.... You know, it was such a ... it was the whole problem of the world – a world that was nothing but pain and suffering, and a great question mark: why?
I tried every possible remedy: changing pain into pleasure, suppressing the capacity to feel, thinking about something else.... I tried all the “tricks” – not a single one worked. There is something in the physical world as it is which is not ... (how can I put it?) which still is not open to the Divine Vibration. And that “something” is what causes absolutely all the trouble.... The Divine Consciousness is not perceived. And so there are lots of imaginary things (but very real to the sensation) that exist, while that, the only thing that’s true, is not perceived. But it’s better now. It’s better.
It’s really interesting. I think something has been achieved from a general standpoint (Mother makes a grinding gesture); it wasn’t just the difficulty of one body or one person: I think something was achieved in terms of preparing Matter to receive in the right way, correctly – it’s as if it had been received incorrectly before, and it has learned to receive in the true way.
It will come. I don’t know whether it will take months or years for the thing to become ... clear. Then it can be cured.
So, au revoir, mon petit, I am very happy to see you again, very happy.
And you, mon petit (turning to Sujata), I have the feeling I literally saw you: I saw you every day and asked you to do things for me.
I was there constantly, Mother.
Yes, I absolutely had the feeling ... as if I were saying, “Here, give me that, do this... ” Very interesting. You’re a very dear child.
(As Satprem is about to leave, Mother’s assistant hands him a note written by Mother)
I don’t remember what it is.
It’s a message you gave for the radio.
Yes, it was for the radio station here, they had asked me for it.
“We want to be messengers of Light and Truth.
A future of harmony awaits to be announced to
Yes, that’s good!
They have broadcast it. (Laughing) The first thing they did was to send it to Delhi. Instead of broadcasting it here, they sent it to Delhi. They made such a fuss about it. But it’s good, it gives people courage.
Yes, Mother, I don’t know, but personally I have a strong feeling that it’s very close.
Yes, you’re right. You’re right. I think one would have to be quite blind not to see it. It’s that close.
Au revoir, Mother.
I’ll see you tomorrow, mon petit.
(Mother caresses Sujata)
January 17, 1971
(Satprem reads to Mother some passages from yesterday’s conversation that will be published in the “Bulletin.” Mother’s voice is like a long moan, but her laugh is still ready to break out, as if laughter were the only true physical thing remaining.)
It’s good, you’ve done just what was needed. It’s just right, you’ve said it just perfectly.
It really wasn’t useless.
I have such an impression – such a vivid and clear impression that the contact (with Satprem) was CONSCIOUS the whole time. It was a conscious contact. As if we were making an effort together to try to understand things – circumstances are there to help you and further your understanding.
Even when outwardly I was in pain and people thought I was entirely lost in my suffering, it didn’t concern me. I don’t know how to explain it.... I saw very well that my poor body was not brilliant, but it didn’t concern me. There was al–ways the impression of that ... that Truth which has to be understood and manifested.
I wondered, I thought, “How come I didn’t see you for so many days?” And I had the impression that I was constantly with you. It was vivid – absolutely vivid and strong, very strong.... Quite a natural impression – not sought for, not the result of an effort, nothing: absolutely natural; the impression that we were together there (gesture above the head), just above the head – just, just above the head together. And what you’ve just read is exactly what I would have said.
It is what you said.
It’s very good. I am happy.
It served some purpose.
(Mother takes Satprem’s hands)
So ... I don’t know, I can see you some morning, if necessary – just let me know.
You have to let me know! You tell me when you think....
Me.... You know, in appearance (in appearance, to all appearances!), I’ve become a poor little creature full of pain. It’s not over. There are still hours; for hours on end it still hurts. It’s not over. So.... The appearance is quite accurate: a kind of painful little creature. But it’s irrelevant, if you tell me, “I need to see you” or “I have something to ask you,” or ... then I will say yes and I’ll call you. It would be more convenient for me.
I wouldn’t dare.
I can’t plan anything because....
Yes, Mother, yes.
Because I am still a ... a quarter of a person!
Mother, whenever you want, you’ll call me yourself.
In any case, when the Bulletin is ready, you’ll come and show it to me.
(Laughing) I gave your flowers to Satprem, so you don’t have any!
I have your hands, Mother!
Are you all right, mon petit?
You had some trouble here (pointing to the chest), is it over?
It’s almost over.
Only almost.... Are you coughing?
(Mother sits concentrated)
Would you like to have a small photo to keep with you, or do you have one?
I would, Mother.
(To the assistant:) Bring me the box of photos.
Something you can put like this (next to the chest).
Do you know this one?
You don’t know it!
(Mother holds the photo between her hands)
I am giving it to you with special intention that you get COMPLETELY well. Completely, so there’s no more trouble.
Au revoir, mon petit.
So then, give me a sign or let me know (laughing): “It would be good if you saw Satprem!” All right? (laughter)
When you really feel like seeing me.
I always feel like seeing you, so... !
(Laughing) You can come by [every day] and say, “Good morning, Mother! Good morning, Mother! Good morning....” (Mother makes a little gesture with her hand.)
That’s always possible. Now it’s not like before. I have time.
Au revoir, mon petit.
I never leave you.
January 23, 1971
Satprem regarding the English translation of the latest “Notes on the Way” for
the next “Bulletin.”
Mother, I was thinking of the Agenda....
Well, if I don’t see you, the Agenda is empty.
The agenda? What agenda?
The Agenda, all the notes on the work of transformation.
Oh! ... There have been some, but.... If it’s not meant for publication, there is ... it’s incredible what there was. But it’s not for publication.
But it stays only with me.
I remember having said some things to R. – I don’t know whether she has a good memory.... You know, she came in when it had just happened, so I told her. But I didn’t ask her to take any notes so I don’t know what she did.
But if there is to be some continuity in the recording of all the work, you would have to see me from time to time.
Oh, yes, mon petit, certainly, with great pleasure! Only, you see, I didn’t call you because I wasn’t speaking. I wasn’t saying anything.
My only means of control was silence.... Now it’s over. My leg still hurts, but it’s quite bearable.
I have to see you.... Only I hesitated to tell you to come because there are days when ... (gesture of interiorization).
But, Mother, that doesn’t matter, it makes no difference to me.
Days when I say nothing at all.
Yes, Mother, but I would simply be there at your disposal.
All right, mon petit.
We can sit in silence, and whenever you want to say something you can say it.
All right, fine.... At this time then. We’ll just continue on the same days – or more often if you want? It can be more often.
However you want it, Mother. Before, I used to see you on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Yes, but would you prefer three times or....
No, no, Mother! However you want it, whatever is best for you.
I don’t really know.... It’s very strange, for me this whole sense of organization has become ... (gesture of disintegration). I might suddenly say, “Well, if Satprem were here....” You understand? It rather works like that, but it’s not very practical.
Well, you could have me called, I’ll come at once.
Yes, but you may be in the middle of doing something.
No, no, there’s nothing more important!
Look, let’s keep the usual days. Wednesday and Saturday, and then if I have something to tell you one day, I’ll send you a note or have you called.
Yes, I’ll come any time, it’s quite easy for me.
All right, then.... I don’t know, all this planning and organizing, all that is gone.
Suddenly something comes up – that’s when.... If I could only write.... But I can’t.
Well, just have me called.
Yes, that’s it. It would always be around the same time. And then Wednesdays and Saturdays you come regularly.
Mother, I have something for you.
What is it?
We went for a walk yesterday and found this on the beach. It’s mother of pearl, Mother.
Ooh!... It’s lovely. Oh, how lovely it is.... There must have been a whole shell.
It’s for you, Mother.
Mon petit, I don’t have any room to keep things, you had better keep it.... I don’t have any room (turning toward the room), this has become complete chaos. It’s better if you keep it.
I feel like a fluid being who doesn’t take up space and can’t keep anything! (Mother laughs) It’s like that. Whenever things come to me, they always come to be channeled to their proper place – let everything be in its place. I am ... just the site of the channeling (gesture in all directions): this here, that there, this there.... How beautiful it would be if things were the way I see them, oh!...
January 27, 1971
(Mother hands to Satprem a note that she sent to an Aurovillian)
“It is the old methods of yoga that demand silence and solitude.
The yoga of tomorrow is to find the Divine in work and in contact with the world.”
* * *
(Then a quotation from Sri Aurobindo that Mother wants to include in the next “Bulletin.”)
“The power that
works in this yoga is of a thorough-
* * *
Tell me, the introduction to your book was supposed to be published in January.... But now January is almost over.
It was sent to France to the publisher of “Planète” [a magazine devoted to occultism and parapsychology] – I still don’t know if they’re going to take it, but it was sent to them.
In America it’s doing VERY WELL. It’s already been sent to many people. And so now you’ve got an enthusiastic reader, R.! She’s absolutely fervent, she told me she’s transformed. So she’s going to work very vigorously over there in America.
N. on his side is pressing to have it translated into Spanish and Italian. Some people want to do it in Portuguese.
But when I saw the effect on R.... You know R. is a person who is not easily carried away – she was transformed, literally transformed, and she told me it was like the revelation of her life for her.... That was the chapter on the “New Consciousness.”
I would like her to hear the end.... If you sit here (gesture to Mother’s right), I think I can hear you.
As you like, Mother. I think there were six chapters left to read.
Yes, six. We had read the tenth.
Yes! What a memory you have!
Your memory works when it wants to!
No, it depends on the place things occupy in the consciousness. It’s a memory of consciousness, not a mechanical memory.
A lot of things have happened recently, haven’t they?
Yes, a lot. A lot.
But above all I am expecting the book to have a tremendous impact in America, ESPECIALLY there.... I don’t think I am wrong.
To tell you the truth, I wish this book could be translated into American English by an American.
Because they really don’t have the same language as the English.
British English is too polished, too neutral, it’s not direct enough.
Perhaps you could see R. and ask her if she knows someone in America who could translate it.... It should be an Americanizing American, I mean someone full of conviction. There’s S., who was here for a long time and went back to America.... She’s really American; I don’t know how literary she is, but she knows some people.
I had thought of N.D.’s granddaughter, Debbie, I must say.
That girl has something.
You mean the one who was here?
Yes. She came here. She’s quite young.
Yes, quite young. It’s very good. It’s much better to have someone young, much better. Yes, that’s excellent.
To translate into British English.... For me England is a country half-dead ... but that doesn’t matter, many countries speak English. But a special translation for America is a very good idea.
I haven’t concerned myself with anything for a long time, but now I am all right.
You’re all right?
Yes, I am all right.
Now we should get the book moving.
It is supposed to come out [in the Ashram] in French next month.
All the more reason we should work on it everywhere – everywhere.
There are the northern European countries.... We have someone from there who has just been called back to his post in Sweden or Norway.... He could do some work over there. He should be given the introduction and the book when it appears.
Yes, we should get it moving. I have the feeling this is the book that is going to electrify America. And when I saw the effect on R., I saw I wasn’t wrong, because she represents the intellectual element of that country. She was so enthusiastic that if they are taken by it ... it can create a tremendous movement over there.
I am counting on it.
(Then Satprem reads to Mother a letter from the friend in the Vatican.)
“ ... When the Pope was traveling [in the Pacific], there were two assassination attempts on him – they didn’t succeed. I consider the Pope as being especially protected by me, through me. Twice they tried to kill him, and twice they failed.
I don’t know why they want to kill him.... If there is anyone who is understanding in this whole mess, it’s he.”
Well, do you have the next chapter?
Yes, Mother. I’ve called it “The Sociology of the Superman.” It’s Auroville without naming it.
But a very ideal Auroville!
Yes! (Laughing) Far from what it is.
(Satprem reads a
Oh, it’s splendid, mon petit!
On the way to conquering the world....
You see, it really has come. I called and called and called, and it has come (gesture of descent). It has come. I am very happy.
It’s splendid.... I personally have the feeling there is a close and invisible connection between America’s aspiration, as it is now, and the book. I have the feeling that’s where the center of transformation will be. The European countries are old.
Old, that’s right.
They’ve lost the enthusiasm that makes you act without thinking about consequences. They’re constantly weighing the consequences of everything they do. In America there’s an aspiration. That’s where the push will be, that’s where (pointing to the manuscript) ... the bomb must go off! (laughter)
January 30, 1971
(Again Mother is not well, she receives Satprem an hour late. And first she sees Satprem’s mother for a few minutes.)
So, how do you find him?
(Satprem’s mother, solid as a Breton rock:) Quite well.
He has written a splendid book. I am counting on this book to revolutionize the world.... You can be proud of your son.
(Satprem’s mother smiles and goes out)
Well, you have brought the book?
You want me to read to you this morning?
Of course, that’s what I am waiting for!
Are you sure you’re not too tired?
Oh, that doesn’t tire me. That’s not what tires me.
What’s tiring you right now?
My system is beginning to refuse to work in the old way, so how am I to eat? ... No attraction for food whatsoever. It seems stupid, and yet one “has to” take it. And then the doctors want everything to function as usual – it’s impossible. So it puts me in a state of ... it creates a sort of conflict in the nature.
You see, things are going too fast and at the same time there is a resistance of the old nature – encouraged by the doctors and habits.
There are times when ... (gesture of tugging).
But that’s all a symbol of something else.
(Mother laughs) Of course!... It’s the symbol of everything in Nature that resists the transformation.
Well, the whole world!
But I well understand that if the transformation were lightning swift, it would be frightful for people.
For instance, they say that my troubles come from not eating enough – according to the old system, it’s true; so they’d like me to eat more, whereas personally, I feel that eating detracts from the Work.
It’s difficult too.... The attraction for food is completely gone, completely – it seems so useless, yet I realize that not taking it upsets the old system too much. So ... (gesture of tugging between the two).
Oh, read to me! That’s far more interesting.
(Satprem reads the next part of “Sociology of the Superman” and, in particular, in the text he quotes this passage from Sri Aurobindo about propaganda:)
“I don’t believe in advertisement except for books etc., and in propaganda except for politics and patent medicines. But for serious work it is a poison. It means either a stunt or a boom – and stunts and booms exhaust the thing they carry on their chest and leave it lifeless and broken high and dry on the shores of nowhere – or it means a movement. A movement in the case of a work like mine means the founding of a school or a sect or some other damned nonsense. It means that hundreds or thousands of useless people join in and corrupt the work or reduce it to a pompous farce from which the Truth that was coming down recedes into secrecy or silence. It is what has happened to the ‘religions’ and is the reason of their failure.”
October 2, 1934
That passage should be typed and put up in Auroville. It is INDISPENSABLE. They all have a false idea about propaganda and publicity. It should be typed in big letters; at the top, “Sri Aurobindo said,” then put the quotation, and send it to Auroville.
Say I am the one who’s sending it.
(at the end of the reading)
It’s half the chapter.
It’s a pity.... I could listen to it for hours, it’s really very good. Is there any more?
About a dozen pages.
It will be for next time.
You give me joy.
But Mother, it’s you who have given me everything!
We have to do something about the translation.... Yes, I would very much like ... something tells me (gesture above) that it should be translated into Russian.
You see, they’ve gone through an experience, they’ve exhausted their possibility and realized it led nowhere, and unfortunately they’re now going backwards – it is the right time to give them the book.
If it were really translated into very good Russian ... it ought to be spread throughout the country. Now is just the time when it needs something. It has lost faith in what it thought it had found.
And this very obstinately keeps recurring: “In Russian, it has to be in Russian.”
Do we know a Russian?
There’s S. Do you want me to speak to her?
She doesn’t know Russian.
No, but maybe she knows some Russians?
You could ask her. You could tell her that I would very much like the book to be translated into Russian by someone who writes well, who has a lively style – not something dry and arid: someone who has a lively and appealing style. And we would arrange to print it somewhere.
I’ll speak to S. about it.
It did me good.
Oh, Mother, it’s you who do us good!
February 3, 1971
Now I am ready to listen to you.
We also need a message for the 21st of February.
I don’t know.
What do you suggest?... I can say something, or else we can find a quotation.
If you want to say something....
Well, I always say the same thing: a life consecrated to union with the Divine is the only life worth living.... A life consecrated to the Divine is the only life worth living.
Will that do?
Yes, Mother, it certainly will!
You’ll have to come here (to the right) to read, because.... I am better, I am reeducating my eyes, they’re starting to see better. And I am going to reeducate my ear – this one (the right one) is open, but this one....
I am better, but I am not there yet.
(After Satprem’s reading of the book, Mother asks that it be translated into the languages of India and mentions Bengali, Hindi, Oriya, and Tamil.)
(To Sujata:) You don’t know an Indian language well enough to translate it?
And then the Nordic countries.
February 6, 1971
(End of the reading of chapter 12, “The Sociology of the Superman.” Mother expresses her happiness and Satprem protests.)
But Mother, it really just came. It was all given to me, as if it were dictated, you understand? I did nothing at all.
Oh, but I can see that! For me it’s quite clear.
It’s like this (gesture of descent).
It creates a magnificent atmosphere, magnificent.
Will we finish the reading before the 21st?
It fills me with joy.
(Mother takes Satprem’s hands)
February 10, 1971
Good morning, Mother.
Well, what’s new?...
How are you, Mother?
It’s not coming very fast.... It’s all right, the leg is almost better – almost, there’s still a tiny little something in the foot, but it’s nothing at all. But the eyesight is not too clear. It’s better – everything is improving, but very, very slowly. And willpower seems to have nothing to do with it. It’s something entirely beyond my control – what is it exactly? I don’t know.
It must depend on the rest of the world, perhaps?
Yes, probably.... Yes, it’s not a personal question because.... The personal will is there, but it’s kept like this (motionless gesture in the background). It’s at peace. Well....
Suddenly I am able to straighten up (you know, I was afraid I would be bent over forever), suddenly I can straighten up. Then at another time I look at those cards to exercise my eyes; and suddenly, one morning, it’s very clear, I can see very clearly – as if to prove that the possibility is there. But the time has not come yet. So I am waiting.
The only thing is the 21st.... I said (maybe too soon, I don’t know) that I would go out on the balcony; therefore I MUST go out on the balcony. Right now it looks ... problematical, but.... I can’t take one step without being supported.
We’ll see. There’s still a week.
It’s entirely beyond my will – it’s not that the will isn’t there, but ... (immutable gesture). So I have to say, “Well, what will be will be.”
May I hear another chapter now?
(After the reading of chapter 13, “And After?”)
I find what you wrote truly miraculous, you know.
February 13, 1971
(Mother reads her message for Indian radio.)
“True liberty is an
ascending movement, not yielding
* * *
(After the reading of Chapter 14 of On the Way to Supermanhood, “The Victory over Death.”)
I have the feeling of a new consciousness being formed.
February 17, 1971
What’s new! I should be asking you that!
A bizarre condition.... A sort of nonexistent existence.
If you have nothing to tell me, I am waiting to hear your chapter.
February 20, 1971
(After the reading
of Chapter 15 of Supermanhood,
So you’ll finish next time?
When will the book come out?
They’re late. I hope at the beginning of next month.
Is the earth responding a little?
I think so, almost everywhere.
I would like your book to be translated into every language.
(Mother takes Satprem’s hands, looks at him, smiles)
February 21, 1971
(Laying of the
foundation stone of the Matrimandir. Mother is ninety-three years old.
Matrimandir be the living symbol of
February 24, 1971
(Satprem gives a white rose to Mother.)
Oh, how beautiful!
How did the 21st go?
I should ask you! (laughter) What about you, what do you say, how was the 21st?
Well, personally I always feel the power so tremendously, you know.
Oh, indeed, tremendous!... It ... it comes like this (massive gesture).
It seems generally that people were very happy, so that’s all that’s needed.
What do you (to Sujata) say?
(Sujata looks at
Mother with a lost look,
You see, it’s like following the story of someone else with an interest which ... not even with great interest, not even curiosity.... I can’t say there’s a sense of duty, I don’t know what it is – it’s a need and that’s all.
The body has once and for all taken the attitude of not thinking of itself because ... it would be deeply disgusted.
But I must say there are days when I hear very well, days when I see very clearly, days when I hear nothing, days when I see nothing. So ... it’s like this (gesture of fluctuation).
It’s decentralized (I don’t know how to say it), completely decentralized. So, if I look – if I LOOKED – with the old consciousness, it would be rather ... rather unpleasant, you can say, but the old consciousness: gone. It’s something ... something that isn’t an individual consciousness, but it is not just a collective consciousness either: there’s “something” up there – THAT, up there – which sees, knows, decides.... That, up there, is quite all right, it hasn’t moved – it hasn’t moved. But this.... (Mother points to her body)
There was some apprehension for the 21st about going out on the balcony, the feeling that it would be very difficult – it wasn’t very difficult, it was neutral, neither easy nor difficult.... The values are not the same.
Oh, I would rather hear your chapter.
Here is my pension, Mother.
You don’t need anything?
No, no, Mother! You give me everything I need.
(To Sujata:) Tell me if it’s true that he doesn’t need anything.
No, Mother, he doesn’t need anything!
(Reading of the end
February 25, 1971
(Mother to Sujata:)
There’s an invasion....
February 27, 1971
What news do you have?...
The problem is food. The doctors have put restrictions on everything I eat most easily, so it’s....
Basically, I realize more and more that we live in total ignorance. We really don’t know either what should be done or how to do it.
But surely that New Consciousness should make one do what is necessary.
I think we don’t know how to listen.
We don’t know how to listen....
It’s very difficult to disentangle the old impulse from the....
It’s very difficult.
You see, our practical knowledge is based on an experience that has become worthless.
(long contemplation with her eyes open)
But it’s better to make a mistake listening or trying to listen to the New Consciousness than to make a mistake listening to the doctors, isn’t it?
(Mother smiles) But the Consciousness doesn’t contradict anything.
You mean it’s neutral?
The Consciousness doesn’t argue.... I don’t know how to explain it....
If there were a strong and clear indication, I would certainly listen to it, but that’s not the case.... For instance, the cook is used to doing things a certain way and does them that way; the doctor says to give me such and such a thing and they listen to him.... But when I say, “I would like to have such and such a thing,” they give it to me grudgingly, you know, almost as if it were a concession to gluttony! So....
I live in such conventionality that it’s very difficult.
And always the idea that I am o-l-d, I am getting o-l-d, and so for them my consciousness must be half dead. They don’t have faith, what can you do!
Only don’t go repeating this. There’s no need to say anything because they all do ... each one does the best he can and really tries hard – they really try hard.
But I would need someone with vision who could tell me: Now you do this.
So I have taken the attitude of saying: let it be. I make myself as passive as possible – passive to the Divine Will – and I pray for it to guide me. That’s the only way.
Do you hear me?
Yes, of course, Mother!
March 1, 1971
(A note of Mother’s.)
There is a Supreme Divinity,
witness of all our actions,
and the day for consequences will soon come.
March 2, 1971
(Extract from Sujata’s notebook. For the last two days Mother’s cheek has been very swollen from an abscessed tooth.)
Mother is better. Tendency to be indrawn. While she was holding my hands, it seemed to me that something went from me into her. Mother seemed to be resting well.
March 3, 1971
(After having approved the layout of the jacket for “Supermanhood” designed by Sujata.)
You have nothing to ask?
I have the feeling your look has changed a lot....
For about a year now, and increasingly so, it has resembled Sri Aurobindo’s look.
Well ... (smiling) it’s possible!
Before, your look was a “diamond look,” a look ... it was you, it was powerfully you. Now, it’s ... it’s becoming like infinity.
Oh, but my way of seeing isn’t the same.
Yes, as a matter of fact, Sujata wanted to ask you: when you look at people that way, what do you see?
I think I see ... the most exact thing to say is their condition, the state they’re in. And then, of course, there are those who are closed, so to say, who, for me, don’t see, who are totally in the outer consciousness; and there are those who are open – there are some ... certain children are remarkable, it’s as if they were wide open (gesture like a flower to the sun) and ready to absorb. It’s especially people’s receptivity that I see, the condition they’re in: those who come with aspiration, those who come with curiosity, those who come out of ... a kind of obligation, and then those who are thirsty for light – there aren’t too many, but there are several children. Today I saw one, he was so sweet!... His father lives at the lake, he bought some property at the lake; he lives there with his wife and children, and it was the birthday of one of the children – oh! (Mother opens her eyes wide) wonderful!
And I see only that. Not what they think or say (all that seems superficial and uninteresting): only the state of receptivity they are in. That’s what I see above all.
I really think that those who can begin the new race are among children. Men are ... crusted over.
You know, I am forever struggling with people who’ve come here to be comfortable and “free to do what they like,” so ... I tell them, “The world is big, you can go.” No soul, no aspiration, nothing.... I am counting on your book very much.
Has T. [the English translator] finished her translation?
Not yet, but it’s progressing.
What does she say? Is she responding?
Well ... I don’t know.
(Mother nods her head)
You know my impression? They’re all old and I am the only one who is young! That’s it, you know, that flame, that will ... what is called push – they are satisfied with stupid little personal satisfactions ... which lead nowhere, preoccupied with what they’re going to eat and ... oh!
I have the impression that there is a sort of display now, a display of everything that should not be.
But the flame, the flame of aspiration (Mother shakes her head), not many bring it to me.
Provided they are what they call “comfortable,” that’s all they want – and free to do some nonsense they wouldn’t do in the world! While you feel you could hasten the coming – you COULD hasten it if you were ... if you were a conqueror!
Basically ... basically they just don’t care.
Not all of them.
No, but those who are different are very few in number – at least among those I see, I don’t know. Naturally there are those who are close – those who are close, who live only for that; of course, I am not speaking of them. They’re all right, I think.... From time to time I receive a real call for help, really an aspiration – that, yes, when that’s there, it’s very good, it’s of very good quality. Otherwise....
I could scold myself, because I set a bad example: I shouldn’t have such a worn-out body, but it’s as if.... At night, for instance, I don’t sleep, but I go into a very deep repose; and then everything that isn’t well (Mother touches her swollen cheek) worsens. It’s only when I concentrate here that it starts to get better; when I leave the body to its own peace ... it still isn’t on the right side – it shouldn’t be like that. I know that the greatest difficulty for people is my age – they all think: “Oh, she’s old, she’s old, she’s old....” And so I.... As a fact I am younger than they! (laughter)
But the difficulty comes from the fact that many do not understand the simplicity of the thing.
Many of them are still seeking experiences up above, and visions, and mental silence, and all that, while that’s not it at all.
No, that’s not it.
I see lots of people and I’m forced to.... I always come back to the simple thing, which is the NEED.
But I am counting on your book to shake all that up – it’s very well explained there, very well.
I remember the first time Pavitra read something of yours (it was a long time ago, several years), he told me, “Oh, it’s a revelation for me!” How many years had he been here!... He said, “Oh, at last I’ve understood that it’s in simplicity....”
It was a revelation for him.... I am really counting a lot on your book.
Whenever I try to explain it to them, they’re always surprised at the simplicity of the thing.
It surprises them as if....
It’s not complicated enough.
Did S. find someone for the Russian translation?
She made an overture, but nothing came of it; she’s made a second one, and now she’s waiting.
I feel that it is the book that will give a new orientation there. That’s why I am insisting. And Russia.... Russia, changed to the right side, it would be wonderful!... I don’t know why.... Naturally I was Russian in a recent incarnation, when I was.... Is it Catherine?
And that’s very much alive in me.
My impression is that if the whole Russian bloc were to turn to the right side, it would be a tremendous support.... And they are not satisfied; you know, they’re in the state in which you’re capable of doing something because you’re not satisfied – they are NOT satisfied. Their experience ... basically they don’t want to admit it, but their experience has failed.
All this, everything that concerns politics and countries cannot be published. It’s to be kept. Because officially I don’t do politics.
Yes, of course, Mother.
When is the next time?
Will the book be out then?
I don’t think so. Next week, I think.
We’ll fill it with force.
(Mother takes Satprem’s hands. Then Sujata approaches. Let us note that Sujata had suggested to one of the attendants who prepares Mother’s food to prepare some coconut water for her. The suggestions was reported to Mother. Behind Mother’s reply we can glimpse a whole world of things.)
It is rather the WAY of preparing things than new things.
March 4, 1971
(Mother replies to an Aurovillian:)
(Question:) You said you did not want to make rules for Auroville. But recently you wrote, “Drugs are forbidden in Auroville.” Have you changed your view of Auroville?
Perhaps Aurovillians have not yet attained the level of consciousness expected of them.
* * *
“You must rise high enough in your consciousness so as to be above contradictions. That is the solution.”
March 5, 1971
(Extract from Sujata’s notebook, after a visit to Mother.)
A warm, golden
March 6, 1971
(Mother calls Satprem in an hour and a half late.)
It’s an invasion! An invasion.... It’s dreadful.... I don’t know what to do.
And your news?
My news!... I don’t know.
Has the book come out yet?
No. I hope towards the end of next week.
The end!... People really need it. I get ten-page letters telling me “spiritual experiences” – which are completely in the vital. They don’t understand a thing. Even in Auroville they’re like that, they don’t understand.
So I wrote ... (Mother tries to recall) what did I write? ... I don’t remember. True spirituality... I know I put simplicity. “True spirituality” in big letters.
I should have put true spirituality is VERY simple! (Mother laughs) That’s even better.
And then quarrels over nothing, people wanting more money – oh, a subhumanity! And they think they’re.... You see, they are grossly ignorant; they come here without experience, without knowledge, without preparation, and they think they are going to realize the Supermind right away.... It’s really pathetic.
Some things are ... they display reactions and attitudes one would be ashamed of in ordinary life.
They need something to straighten them out.
Mother, maybe we could publish in the next “Bulletin” part of what you said the other day about your perception of people’s inner condition and the frequent absence of flame.
They’re going to despair.
Maybe it will be a “challenge”!
Can you read it to me?
It’s good, it’s very good.
Yes, that’s it, exactly it.
Mother sits looking into the distance)
Obviously there is a great change in the nature, I can see it. When I look at my body live, it’s as if I were seeing the body of someone completely new. Unfortunately it is ... it lacks suppleness, I think.
There’s this whole “formation” of age like this (gesture all around Mother), an almost subconscious idea that “she is old, she is old....” It creates an atmosphere of resistance to the change. It almost creates a conflict in the being. Outwardly, it’s not so good. When I was sick, for example, I became increasingly bent over; now I would like to straighten up: the doctor says in a peremptory tone that if I tried to straighten up abruptly, I would break my back.... You see, things like that. “It’s impossible, impossible, impossible,” from every side.
Don’t repeat that; I am telling you so that you keep it.
So there’s only one solution for me.... Actually the only will that is all-powerful is the Divine Will – what He wants will be in spite of everything, or because of everything. That’s all. It’s not my concern. Only, it’s not going as fast as it could if circumstances were different. But probably that’s my own opinion. Probably it’s as good as it can be.
We’ll see! (Mother laughs)
Oh, I am counting very, very, very much on your book.
(Mother takes Satprem’s hands)
March 10, 1971
(Satprem begins by reading to Mother an unpublished letter by Sri Aurobindo.)
A Most Fruitful Adventure
“As there is a category of facts to which our senses are our best available but very imperfect guides, as there is a category of truths which we seek by the keen but still imperfect light of our reason, so according to the mystic, there is a category of more subtle truths which surpass the reach both of the senses and the reason but can be ascertained by an inner direct knowledge and direct experience. These truths are supersensuous, but not the less real for that: they have immense results upon the consciousness changing its substance and movement, bringing especially deep peace and abiding joy, a great light of vision and knowledge, a possibility of the overcoming of the lower animal nature, vistas of a spiritual self-development which without them do not exist. A new outlook on things arises which brings with it, if fully pursued into its consequences, a great liberation, inner harmony, unification – many other possibilities besides. These things have been experienced, it is true, by a small minority of the human race, but still there has been a host of independent witnesses to them in all times, climes and conditions and numbered among them are some of the greatest intelligences of the past, some of the world’s most remarkable figures. Must these possibilities be immediately condemned as chimeras because they are not only beyond the average man in the street but also not easily seizable even by many cultivated intellects or because their method is more difficult than that of the ordinary sense or reason? If there is any truth in them, is not this possibility opened by them worth pursuing as disclosing a highest range of self-discovery and world discovery by the human soul? At its best, taken as true, it must be that – at its lowest taken as only a possibility, as all things attained by man have been only a possibility in their earlier stages, it is a great and may well be a most fruitful adventure.”
* * *
(Concerning a disciple who wanted to finish “The Life of Sri Aurobindo” left incomplete by Rishabhchand.)
I thought Rishabhchand had finished “The Life of Sri Aurobindo.”
He stopped where Sri Aurobindo comes to Pondicherry [in 1910].
That’s enough. There’s no need to add anything, just a note – a sentence or two will do.
There’s nothing to say about his life here.... Basically no one really knows the life he led here. I am afraid they’ll write a lot of nonsense. I would prefer that nothing be said – they can say he retired to Pondicherry to lead the life of Yoga and henceforth only that mattered, and it’s better not to speak of it. That’s all.
It doesn’t have to be lengthy: just a chapter to close the series, to say that his life in Pondicherry was exclusively taken up with Yoga and that he wrote what he wanted to say, and consequently there’s nothing more to add.
We have everything he wrote, and it’s much better than anything we can say about it.
What’s that sound?
Nothing.... Someone’s playing a flute in the school.... Someone who must have a lot of heart!
(Mother caresses Satprem’s head and goes within)
March 13, 1971
There’s a question of C.S. [a German translator]. Because there are differences between C.S. and T.K. [another translator] over the vocabulary to use. Three or four years ago already, when C.S. translated my first book, there was a whole discussion and you made certain suggestions. You said in particular that the word “mental” [mind] and the word “esprit” [spirit] should not be translated by the same word.
Of course not!
So various words were suggested for “mental” and “esprit,” and finally we had chosen two words: the word “Geist” for “mental” (if I remember correctly) and the word “Spirit” for “esprit,” although “Spirit” isn’t German. And now C.S. wants to impose the same terms on all the German translators and on T.K. in particular – but the other translators don’t agree.
How does T.K. translate “esprit”?
I don’t know.
Obviously “Spirit” isn’t so good, but isn’t there a word in German for “Esprit”?
I believe they use the same word for “mental”: “Geist” and “Geist.”
We should find out what T.K. is using, because.... Using the same word is out of the question.
But T.K. may not use the same word because she has a totally different vocabulary.
Yes, but we should find out what it is.
We have Germans here, don’t we?
They can’t agree with one another! (laughter)
So what are we going to do?
I’ll ask T.K. what she is using.
But I feel C.S. should be told he can’t dictate.
No, he can’t dictate. How can he?... Moreover, he doesn’t have the means.
For example he said that since he has a book-sales office, he would refuse to sell any book using a different terminology!
What should be done for these books is to put a note in, to insert a note in each book saying that this particular word used here corresponds to that word used in the other books – to let people know. Because if it’s the same word as “mental,” that leads to terrible confusion – terrible, the worst confusion. There has to be a distinction, it’s imperative: either T.K. has to put a note or.... Because you see, if they put “mental” for both words, or even another word that means the same thing, it distorts the teaching immediately. It immediately creates terrible confusion.
In any event, there should be a note explaining that the word is taken in a particular sense.
Evidently, C.S. wanted to use the same vocabulary in the other book as the one he used in “The Adventure of Consciousness.”
That’s reasonable enough.
Yes. Only I think T.K. very much objects to the use of the word “Spirit,” which is not German.
I don’t like it either.
But is German such a poor language? Isn’t all this ignorance on their part?... They could take a word that isn’t a common word and give it a special meaning – and then, put in a note the special meaning they’ve given the word. But to use a word that means “mind” is crazy, it immediately distorts the teaching.
Yes. The trouble is that the word they use for “spirit” is the word generally used for “mind.” So, if it is left exclusively to mean “mind,” they don’t have anything for “spirit,” but if they use it exclusively for “spirit,” it may be interpreted as “mind.”
No, they should put a note.
But don’t they have another word for “mind”?
I don’t know what T.K. is using, but some people have made up the word “mental” (I believe “das Mental,” I don’t know exactly).
As long as the distinction is clear enough.... It has to be explicit.
All right, Mother.
It should not be left to people’s intuition: explicit.
(Mother raises her
arms in a heavy gesture,
March 17, 1971
You have nothing to say, no news?
No, Mother. How are things?
(after a silence)
You know, I have the impression that the body ... since it wants to progress fast, is literally whipped into moving ahead. But that’s entirely personal ... I am not complaining.
It’s of no interest to others.
It’s as if there were a constant ringing directed to the body (Mother makes a gesture of hammering): “You say you want to live only for the Divine – so live only for the Divine, live only ...” (same gesture of hammering).
And so it sees how much it still belongs to this old world.
But anyway it’s all right.
We’re right in the midst of the transition – for everything. And how long is the transition going to last? I don’t know.... I have the feeling things are going as fast as they can, that if they were any faster, everything would break.
I feel I am witnessing a whole display of the subconscient and the lower nature....
(Mother nods her head)
Yes, it’s resisting as much as it can.
Oh, but it’s terrible, Mother! One gets the impression of a self-sufficient power that listens to nothing, over which one has no control, which scoffs at everything, which is only oriented towards destructiveness – because it is really a power of destruction – and it scoffs at everything: nothing matters. It’s something in the depths of the being that is ready to do anything – to kill, to ... anything.
And it is a self-sufficient power: you can talk to it, you can threaten it, you can warn it: “If you do that, this will happen to you” – it absolutely doesn’t care.
(Mother nods her head)
One gets the impression of being in front of something.... One doesn’t know what to do, one doesn’t know what can cure it, or tear it out.
Oh, it can’t go out of the world. You see, that’s it: it has to be in the place where it will INEVITABLY, necessarily be transformed.
Yes, but where ... where is that place?
Ah, that’s it.... We don’t know. If we could become transparent instruments – we have so many dark spots! That’s what’s terrible, those dark spots. If we could be like a ... something like a searchlight of the Divine shining constantly, which nothing could dim – that’s the only way. To be like a searchlight casting the Divine onto the world. He is there, but the world ... as you say, doesn’t see Him, doesn’t care about Him. Such a blinding searchlight should be made of Him that one is forced, compelled to acknowledge Him.
But is there a point THERE that can understand reason?
Oh, yes – everything is divine. There is ONLY the Divine. But He is broken up into opposites. And the extreme opposite can be touched, overcome, if you will, transformed by the divine extreme – halfway measures won’t work. It is the divine extreme that will be able to transform the dark extreme: by absorbing (gesture of taking into herself), absorbing and blotting out the darkness. By absorbing it, it can blot out its action.
But a tremendous power is needed.
Especially a power of endurance. What is most important is a power of endurance that absolutely nothing can shake.
When you look at it close up, it’s really a force of destruction, because if you say to that point, “But look, if you go in that direction, you’re going to die, it’s your ruin” – it absolutely doesn’t care.
(Mother nods her head)
If you say to it, “You’re going to get cancer, you’re going....” It doesn’t care, nothing matters – nothing.
(Mother nods her head)
It’s really something which wants your ruin – which wants RUIN.
(after a silence)
Yes, but in itself it is the worst falsehood, because it’s impossible – it’s impossible: the world cannot disappear, you see. Thus, in itself it is Falsehood incarnate.
(very long silence
It comes like this (gesture of hammering): the only solution is the ONE – there is a Oneness. The only solution is always Oneness. There’s a kind of incapacity to see that everything we call “falsehood” is the ONE AND THE SAME Thing, it’s we who see it incorrectly. And naturally it seems quite stupid, and yet that’s it: ONE – ONE, ONE, ONE ... (same gesture of hammering).
The solution is in the capacity for oneness. But how?... (Mother shakes her head)
You know, the creation is the result of division; but that creation has to become Unity in order to become divine again. At present, it seems like absolute nonsense, and yet that’s it.... The creation is the result of division (or at least, rather, to be more exact, division has become the result of the creation), and so it has to be.... Only Unity can restore – restore how? I don’t know.
Indeed one can easily understand, in flashes, when one is faced with that ... that Blackness, that darkness and falsehood, that it is not ultimately here to ruin us, but to lead us towards something else.
Yes. Yes, exactly.
That, one understands in flashes. It’s there to lead us to a stronger point of light.
But the transition isn’t easy.
(Mother shakes her head)
March 24, 1971
(Another sign of the times: The disciple who works in the Ashram post office refused to put stamps on Satprem’s letters – why, we don’t know. At the time Satprem was giving all his money to Mother and possessed nothing personally. Mother is therefore forced to sign a note in her own hand so that Satprem’s letters get stamped. Then she remains very interiorized during the whole interview. It was the same on March 20, at the last interview: that day, she gave Satprem the first copy of “On the Way to Supermanhood,” then went within the rest of the time.)
Do you want to say anything?
(Mother shakes her head and goes within)
Nothing to say. Do you have any questions to ask?
I don’t have any questions. I have rather some wishes....
The situation is very difficult. I prefer not to speak.
(Mother goes back within)
March 27, 1971
(Mother remains very interiorized. One has the impression of a total passivity within tremendous activity. It feels as if one were in an almost crushing bath of power.)
(Mother is holding a full newspaper page on her knees)
It’s the introduction of your book ... in America.
It’s in “Ulster County” [the piece had been submitted without comment by American friends to the Ulster County Townsman, a weekly newspaper published in Woodstock, New York, and the paper had published it].
(Mother smiles and goes within)
Do you have anything?
When one looks at world events, and even at what is happening in people’s individual consciousness, one more and more gets the impression that there is a radical change....
(Mother nods vigorously)
It’s no longer the Falsehood attacking the Truth, the Truth is attacking the Falsehood.
(Mother nods yes,
Isn’t this the prelude to the reunification of India?
(Mother goes back within)
At the last Darshan [in February] someone had a vision. It’s G., I might add.
While you were there, he saw your body as usual, but suddenly your arms were ... tremendous, immense, stretched open like this, fantastic arms, and the people from the Ashram were here, below, very close, and behind, there were crowds and crowds and crowds ... coming into those arms. As if, from far away, all of humanity were coming here, drawing near.
(Mother nods her head and goes within)
March 31, 1971
You haven’t spoken of Sri Aurobindo in a long time.
Me, I have nothing to say.
What about Sri Aurobindo, is he saying anything?
(after a silence)
He’s very busy with ... (gesture to the north) with everything happening in the country.
It’s serious, you know.
But what is India waiting for?
Waiting for what?
Well, to recognize that country.
Oh, she has recognized it!
No, Mother, she hasn’t.
They told me....
She has expressed her “sympathy,” that’s all. But she hasn’t recognized it.
I received news from the government today. They told me they were waiting to hear from America before granting official recognition.
Good.... Well, it’s about time.
But she shouldn’t need America to do that!
It’s against China, you see. China is the only country that supports Pakistan.
I think the whole world is waiting for India to recognize Bangladesh in order to follow suit – they’re waiting for it.
Not quite – they’ve all made up their mind.
Because a lot of people are dying up there.
Oh! ... (Mother makes a gesture of horror) it’s dreadful.
It’s a massacre.
Yes. And then every day they send troops [West Pakistan] and tanks and planes.... It seems to me.... I don’t know ... there’s no time to lose.
But India should have the courage to intervene, Mother.
(Mother goes deep
This very morning they asked me what should be done, but they don’t.... They ask, but they do just what they think.
We’ll see.... I have only one means, you know, it’s ... (gesture of pressing the Force upon the world). All I can do (same gesture) is to put pressure with the Force.
April 1, 1971
(On this day Mother gave the following message for the opening of the sports season.)
“We are at one of those Hours of God, when the old bases get shaken, and there is a great confusion; but it is a wonderful opportunity for those who want to leap forward, the possibility of progress is exceptional.
Will you not be of those who take advantage of it?
Let your body be prepared through physical education for this great change!”
April 3, 1971
(Another sign of the times. This conversation concerns one of the Ashram presses which was, despite Mother’s instructions, about to sell fraudulently a cheaper edition of “Supermanhood” in Europe and Canada, while the rights to the book were reserved. This cheaper edition was exclusively intended for India. Satprem protests in particular against the jacket and presentation of the book, which are patently designed to make as much money as possible at a minimum cost. Mother’s face is swollen, her eyes too.)
I am disgusted. I can’t trust anyone!
They’re selling books the way you’d sell margarine or peanuts.
When someone lies like that, it’s finished. I can’t trust him anymore. You have to be very thick-skinned to lie to my face.
I can order them to stop everything.
No, Mother. If it’s for the presentation, people won’t see the difference.
Then I’ll speak to M. [the manager of the press] about it, or would you rather speak to him yourself?
I can speak to him, but it would be good if you tell him also.
I’ll tell him in any case.
(Mother sighs and goes within)
April 7, 1971
We need a message for the Darshan of the 24th.
(after a silence)
I don’t know if it’s any good.... It’s my experiences these last few days.
(Mother writes with her eyes closed)
Human blindness is
At least 4 or 5 people around me are lying – lying to me! Just these last few days.
Shall I put that?... You’re not happy!
Oh yes, yes! I completely agree.... Because Falsehood has many levels.
Well, anyway I say “the habit of lying,” I don’t say “the Falsehood.”
Yes, Mother, I know, I was speaking for myself!
(Mother laughs) What I say there concerns the crudest of all levels: they lie to me to get me to do certain things. Just these last few days. And it’s so spontaneous on their part that they don’t even realize that I am going to find out.
The first case was M.
If I give this message, they’ll think, “Oh, well, there are ‘many,’ so it doesn’t matter!” (laughter) They always twist things around like that!
I could put it another way:
It is imperative
not to tell
People will say, “Oh, that’s obvious!”
Well, it isn’t so obvious at all!
But they do it just the same.
I can say:
Needless to say
It’s the lies of the lower nature that are difficult to ... dispel.
(Mother nods her head) Yes, but that has nothing to do with “telling lies.”
Lying is always the sign of a lack of courage. A refusal to face the situation as it is.
(Mother goes back
Nothing to ask?
(Sujata slips a note
What is India doing, Mother?
I received some news from Indira, who told me that they’re sending all the help they can up there [to Bangladesh]. They are taking a very positive position. But she says that the outcome will probably be war with Pakistan, and maybe even with China – they’re expecting it.
That’s good! Let the Falsehood burst open!
You know that they had asked my advice? And I told them that they had to help urgently (that letter was hand-delivered to her). And her answer was brought back to me. She said she agreed, that they were already doing it: even medical assistance and everything. They’re sending everything. But West Pakistan wrote to Russia ... (Mother tries to recall). They’re angry [Russia?], because they had advised them not to start a war, and the advice was not followed. So now they say [the Pakistanis]: India had better not help because ... that would mean war. And Russia sent this information to India. And China has clearly taken a position for Pakistan.
So it may get very nasty.
It has to be straightened out once and for all, Mother.
Both England and America are still like this (vacillating gesture).
For them it’s Pakistan’s “internal affair.”
But it seems to me that India is too slow in taking an effective stand to recognize the country.
Oh, it was done these last few days. Already two or three days ago....
??... I’m speaking of the official recognition of the government of Bangladesh.
There isn’t any government.
But they said there is a government – a provisional government.
When did they say that?
Already at least 5 or 6 days ago.
Yes, but the man [Sheikh Mujibur] has been made a prisoner – and tortured into the bargain, to make him say what he doesn’t want to say.
It’s horrible, mon petit!
But I feel that the more India procrastinates or beats around the bush, the more difficult the situation will become for her.
Oh, but it’s over, she’s not procrastinating anymore.
Yes, except that she doesn’t want to recognize the government of Bengal officially.
Yes, she does.
They have even helped to form it.
That was these past few days – the news hasn’t come out yet. I get news that hasn’t come out.
It’s far more serious than it seems.
But, Mother, I have the feeling India is the symbol of the world’s battle and the new Consciousness cannot be established in the world so long as India has not regained her unity.
It’s obvious that India is the symbol of the New World in formation, so India must be “one,” symbolically, in order for the New World to see the light of day....
Consequently Pakistan has to disappear.
But of course!
There’s no doubt about that. So this must be the time.
But they’ve already missed one chance.
Yes, they’ve already missed one chance. But now ... they shouldn’t miss this one.
But India herself is divided.
Yes, in Orissa, for example. A large part of Orissa is entirely under Sri Aurobindo’s influence, and another part is in revolt.... N.S. has relentless enemies there. She was elected there, but she has relentless enemies – India herself is divided.
Such an ardent faith would be needed ... but ... (gesture of something crumbling into dust between her fingers).
You see, the Force is so active.... Lies that have gone on for years are becoming visible here too – the mixture is everywhere.
Such a ... such a force of truth would be needed, you know, a force that would be great enough to overcome all that.
For me, Victory is certain, but I don’t know if it’s tomorrow or ... (gesture into the distance).
I don’t know what road we will take to get there.
Victory is certain, that’s obvious, but what road are we going to take to get there?
And it very much depends on our individual position; that’s what they don’t understand. We must cling, cling so tightly to the Truth that nothing can touch us.
It always comes back to the same thing: “What You will, Lord, what You will.”
But that has become formidable.
(Handwritten note of Mother in English.)
They don’t want a
April 10, 1971
I have found two quotations for the April Bulletin...
“India, free, one
Oh, that’s very good! It’s the current situation.
“The end of a stage
That’s just right, exactly what is needed!... They should be put in together.
(Mother goes within)
Do you have anything?
How do you see things?
(Mother goes back within)
It’s better to say nothing. I would rather not speak now.
April 11, 1971
(Satprem has protested the “Nietzschean” jacket of “Supermanhood” in which “superman” was printed in French in enormous letters, and protested also the sales methods of that Press. This raised a storm. It is hard to know exactly what was reported to Mother, but she sent Satprem a rather severe note. What eluded Satprem completely then was a latent animosity against him, evidently because he was Mother’s confidant. He lived completely apart from the Ashram factions and coteries; he only went out of his house to be besieged by visitors, which brought him another sort of animosity. These facts are included here for the sake of accuracy and completeness, for they are symptomatic of the whole.)
From Mother to Satprem
This morning I saw B., who brought me the letter you wrote to M. [the manager of the Press]. It pained me because it was an outburst of an excited mind, which is obviously not the luminous intelligence that wrote the book. I have arranged for B. to ask you for one or two cover designs you find suitable so I can make the final decision.
But the lesson to be drawn from all this is to remain calm so as not to lose contact with the Supreme Lord.
Unfortunately my bad eyesight forces me always to rely on intermediaries, and that impairs the working harmony.
With all my affection and blessings
April 14, 1971
(In reference to Mother’s latest letter to Satprem.)
Mon petit, if I have caused you pain, I am very sorry (Mother takes Satprem’s hands).
Oh, listen, Mother!
You see, I spoke to you the way I speak to myself [in Mother’s letter to Satprem], as frankly as possible. But I really didn’t think that would cause you pain. I saw in you that you knew things.... Tell me what’s bothering you.
No, Mother, now it’s really all gone. It’s over. There were one or two ... rather difficult days, but now it’s over.
(Mother holds Satprem’s hands tightly)
In the end, what I regretted is that all this takes up so much of your time, and that we make so much fuss about it, that’s all....
Oh, that doesn’t matter.
... While there are far more important things.
Oh, mon petit, the situation is ... terribly dangerous.
There’s only.... It’s only by clinging desperately to the Divine – but to the purest and most powerful Divine – that we can avoid a ... general conflagration. It’s terrible.
There’s an impression that not a single minute should be lost, that we should constantly, constantly cling to the Divine to compel his descent here. Otherwise ... otherwise it’s terrible.
So I need ... I need all those who love me to understand me.
Yes, Mother, yes.
Yes, I too have gone through (I don’t dare use the past tense) a period in which there was a sort of complete disintegration.
Yes. Me too.
I know, I know.
Something that wants to get me very....
I know, I was with you day and night, you can’t imagine how concretely.
You know everything I went through?
Yes, I know.... I know.... Forget it, won’t you? That’s the best thing to do. It is a part of the being that must disappear – it’s not you.
I know it’s not me, Mother. But it tried very hard to strike me.
Yes, yes ... I know. I am telling you, day and night, all the time, it was coming like that all the time.... But if one could – no ... not “if”: one MUST, one must change that into a great victory, petit. Let everything still clinging to the lower part go – finished, let it be swept away for good.
Yes, Mother, I would like that. With your help, yes.
It’s as if ... as if you went up, as if you threw away an old coat and rose straight up into the Light – I’ve seen it.... I have seen it.
That quotation we put in the “Bulletin” is so much to the point!
Yes. Yes, it’s fighting and kicking. Everything that has to go is fighting back.
Yes, fighting ferociously.
But the situation of the country is dangerous, very dangerous.
China.... A long time ago (a long time, more than a year), I saw China’s intention. Now she’s got her chance. And China, that means all India, brff! (gesture of being overrun). No, I tell you, only the Divine can save the situation. There has to be a divine intervention, that alone can save things – something extraordinary, abnormal, unexpected. Otherwise ... otherwise....
Really ... really it can be expressed this way: only the Divine Will can save us – all circumstances are ... (Mother interlaces her fingers). And so, we have to ... you know, we have to get rid of everything that still holds us down in order to be really ready to receive that Divine Will.
I understand very well, Mother, deeply. But I believe only in the Grace, you know – because our own strength is....
Yes, I know, mon petit.
Oh, you know, the body, the whole body really wants, it wants the transformation, and it is.... There is such a world of insincerity there, it’s frightening – in the cells, in the ... oh!... And so there is such an urgency, an urgency – the urgency FOR that ... frightening.... Day and night there’s the will, the will to become ... to become divine.
These last few days, ALL the old notions have collapsed, all the old reactions have collapsed, it was.... And then, and then what? What? ... That’s it, you see, nothing is left, nothing, nothing ... only (Mother clenches her fists), only a will – a will, an aspiration, a compelling need: oh, the reign of the Divine must come, it must!
To have the sense of one’s inferiority and incapacity, and in that aspiration let the Divine alone exist.
And you, mon petit, it’s your destiny. It is your destiny: to become conscious and manifest the Divine – it is your destiny. You must.... Me, I am in a hurry because I see circumstances becoming more and more ... acute – dangerous. Only a miracle can save us – that is to say, what we consider a miracle: an intervention ... an intervention of the Divine Will in its purity, undistorted, uncontroverted, unobstructed – just That.
We have to be at our highest – and it is still far from being what it should be.
Oh, mon petit!...
(Mother goes back within)
April 17, 1971
A. told me he liked your book very much.
Oh, yes! Good.
That’s good.... I was happy for him! (laughter)
But you know, from the first reactions that are starting to come in, the book is creating a sort of schism!
A sort of schism, yes.
How do you mean?
Well, there seems to be one whole group of open and enthusiastic young people, who see the new Possibility, and then there’s another “school,” which has done a lot of tapasya [austerities] and very much believes in the virtue of all sorts of disciplines, which says, “That can’t be it! It can’t be that way!”
People who believe in the virtue of meditation, tapasya, disciplines, etc., and then “great effort is needed” – so the more effort they’ve made, the more shocked they are by the immediacy of the Thing!
(Mother laughs) But it’s much more difficult to do what you describe!
(Mother laughs) Much more difficult.... That means they don’t understand.
That’s exactly it.
They see only the words.
But unfortunately I got that kind of reaction from T. also [the English translator].
So it bothers me because I wonder what kind of translation she will do.
Did she tell you I wrote to her?
Oh!... She had written me that there were passages she didn’t like in your book....
Yes, they are “repulsive,” she told me.
So, I told her, “Please write those passages down for me.” And among them was one that was just the one I liked best! (laughter)
So I said, “I am terribly sorry, but I have to tell you that you do not understand the book....” She never replied.
Yes, she wrote to me also.
Did she mention what I said to her?
No, not at all, Mother! But she told me there was no “Presence” in the book.
But it’s not true at all!
Anyway, it bothers me from the standpoint of the translation.
Yes, her translation can’t be good.... It will have to be done over.
You see, she had sent me a passage from your book leaving out part of a sentence, which changed the meaning to the opposite of what was intended.... So I understood that there is a ... (gesture of twisting).
Yes, they always cut things out.
Then how can she translate?
Yes, that bothers me. She showed me her translation; of course I can tell her, “This word is not correct, here is a mistranslation,” but that’s all I can do – it’s not enough for the words to be there, there has to be something else.
And I don’t know if there is that “something else.”
A. used to know English very well, perhaps he could read it and tell you.
And she has not answered [Mother’s letter]. She must think I am soft in the head!
Oh, no, I don’t think so, Mother!
They are ... three quarters think that way, mon petit.
No, Mother, no.
Because I can’t do things as they do, I no longer see very well and I hear badly, so I must be completely in a daze.
No, no, Mother! I really don’t think there are so many.
It doesn’t matter anyway! (Mother laughs scoffingly)
But if there is to be another English translator, it has to be someone who isn’t here.
Yes, because it would pain her.
Yes, on an entirely different subject ... about the current situation.
For this “Agenda” in which we are keeping a record of everything that is done, I thought it would be good to keep a record, if you agree, of exactly what you wrote to Indira. I heard that you told her to intervene [in Bangladesh], but.... Exactly what did you write?
I don’t remember.... I wrote her two notes, one on the third and one on the fourth – I know it was the fourth because that was the day Sri Aurobindo arrived here. But what was in the notes.... Unless a copy was kept?...
(Mother’s assistant looks for the notes)
It looks as if they’re letting that country be crushed without doing anything.
No. Three or four countries have already recognized it. I don’t remember.
Oh, no, Mother, no one!
They told me so this morning.
No one, Mother! Not a single one.
Well, yes, they told me this morning.
The people of Bangladesh have sent emissaries to try to secure recognition, but up till now....
Oh, yes. They’ve worked. Three countries have already recognized it.
But not at all, Mother, I can assure you!... Unless the news is secret, no one has recognized Bengal.
But the news we get is not at all complete.... Well, anyway I don’t know anything.
According to the news, Pakistani troops are now recapturing cities, and not only that, but they are sealing off the border with India, so that even secret help that might have been given cannot get through anymore.
Where did you get that news?
Well, that’s the official news.
You wrote: “The urgent recognition of Bangla-Desh is imperative.”
Yes, “the urgent recognition....” That’s the second note, the one of the fourth. “The urgent recognition of Bangla-Desh is imperative.”
There you are, they just haven’t listened to you! They’re not listening to you.
They told me it was done.
No, Mother, it’s not done at all!
And that there was even a government formed and everything.
That, yes! They’ve formed a provisional government in Bangladesh, but it has not been recognized.
And so the longer they delay, the more impossible it becomes to do anything.
(after a silence)
But the news coming from there is very conflicting. I get news through Surendra Mohan [an advisor to Indira], who is working actively....
Then it must be a secret recognition, because officially it’s not recognized at all. At any rate, the fact is that Pakistani troops are recapturing territory and they’re trying to set up a provisional pseudogovernment under their control. That’s what they’re doing. A government of traitors, you know, like Petain [the head of the Vichy government during World War II which collaborated with the Nazis].
(Mother goes within
for a long time,
(In a sad tone:) I don’t know.
(Mother goes back within)
The truth must be something else altogether, I am sure – neither what some say nor what the others say. But what is it?...
In any event, there is something far more dangerous still: there’s going to be famine.
And Surendra Mohan is going to try to get all the necessary supplies from America.
Yes, but Pakistani ships off-shore are confiscating everything.
It should come from India.
But they’re sealing off the borders!... Mother, the fact is that they have not listened to you and they have missed the chance – they are missing it!
* * *
Satprem had received the following letter from an enthusiastic reader of “On the Way to Supermanhood”:
“Until the year of grace 1969 [the descent of the New Consciousness], all philosophies, all religions, all isms, all spiritual paths were only the refined products of the ‘mental circle’ [according to ‘Supermanhood’]. All experiences were merely on the higher planes of the mind.’ Those ‘peaks of the Spirit’ are but ‘self-paroxysms,’ p. 61; ‘we must cleanse ourselves of the wisdoms of the past, the ascents of the past, the illuminations of the past and the whole racket of the old sanctities of the Spirit,’ p. 29, etc. In other words, everything that took place before 1969 is a sublimation of the ‘old flesh,’ p. 28. It is quite clear. Some have touched the Secret: the Rishis, the Egyptians – the reader understands that they had the intuition of it but not the experience. The same applies to Sri Aurobindo, who ‘announced’ it, but his yoga extended the refinement of the ‘mental bubble’; the reader thus understands that he did not know about the key to the yoga of the superman and was merely satisfied in teaching the integral yoga....”
The misconception of this enthusiastic reader is like a demonstration in reverse of precisely what the “orthodox” reproached “Supermanhood” for, i.e., of having betrayed Sri Aurobindo. Behind this so-called schism were hidden, on the one hand, those who wanted to separate Mother and Sri Aurobindo and found it more comfortable to philosophize than to do the yoga concretely, and on the other hand, those who wanted conveniently to dispense with all spiritual disciplines and live according to their fancy. Two poles of the same misconception. Here then is the letter Satprem sent in response to this enthusiastic reader:
You have a lot of nerve to say that Sri Aurobindo did not have the key to the yoga of the superman and that his integral yoga was a refinement of the mental bubble! And where have I learned what I write, if not from Mother and Sri Aurobindo? You forget that it is thanks to him that the yoga of the superman is possible, that it is he who prepared it, he who brought down the great flood of the New Consciousness so that, instead of seeking for the Divine Truth up above, men can live it down here and walk their every step in it. It is like saying that Sri Aurobindo did not have the key to the door he opened!
His yoga is integral because, instead of confining the quest to the spiritual heights, he has told us repeatedly that our body too must participate and we must bring the Spiritual Truth down into our body and our life. The path of ascent and all the other paths, the other planes of consciousness, are part of an integral development – for those who have the time and the special capacities that are required. But it is no longer the time for those excursions, since everything can be found here – since, in fact, Sri Aurobindo and Mother opened the way HERE. Please recall Mother’s statement: “Sri Aurobindo came to tell us: one need not leave the earth to find the Truth, one need not leave life to find one’s soul, one need not abandon the world or have limited beliefs to enter into relation with the Divine. The Divine is everywhere, in everything, and if he is hidden, it is because we do not take the trouble to find him.” (Questions and Answers, 8.13.1958) And again this: “For many, spiritual life is meditation. As long as that nonsense is not uprooted from human consciousness, the supramental force will always find it very difficult not to be swallowed up in the obscurity of an uncomprehending human mind.” (Questions and Answers, 4.17.1957) And if you know how to read Sri Aurobindo and Mother, you will see that they have completely described this road of here and the sunlit path – On the Way to Supermanhood only puts an intentionally exclusive accent on the “here,” because there is no time to lose, because everyone does not have the special capacities for making large-scale explorations, and finally because we are at the Hour of God – we are right there! It has come. Because there really is something different in the world since 1969.
It is not a change in Sri Aurobindo’s yoga, it is the flowering of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga, I dare say. I do not think that the flower of the flame tree contradicts in any way the flame tree.
Now, you have completely confused the psychic and the spiritual. The psychic, the soul, the Fire within, Agni, does not belong to the “mental bubble” or to any bubble: it is the Divine in matter. It is that little Fire which opens the door to the great solar Fire of the New Consciousness. It is the instrument of the yoga of the superman (when I speak of turning on the “psychic switch,” I am there taking the word in the vulgar and ridiculous sense of people seeking visionary and occult experiences – not in the true sense). Others in every age have had the experience of the psychic, of the inner Fire, but aside from the Rishis, no one used it to transform matter; the religions have made a purely devotional and “mystical” thing out of it. As for “the spiritual,” that includes all the planes of consciousness above the ordinary mind. It is the path of ascent. And that is where I repeatedly and emphatically, and from experience, say that those great Experiences, which have to be turned into spiritual summits, are part of the mental bubble (including the overmind): they are the rarefied summits on which the being thins out into a marvelous whiteness, immense, royal, without a ripple of trouble, in an eternal peace – which can last for millenniums without its changing the world one iota, by definition. But the spiritual is not the supramental, and when one touches the supramental, it seems to be almost a whole other Spirit, it is so compact, warm, powerful, present, embodied and radiantly solid in broad daylight. That is the Radiance which Sri Aurobindo and Mother came to bring down on earth – they said over and over that their yoga was new, new, new – and it is through the simple little fire inside us that we can enter into direct contact with That, without sitting in the lotus position or leaving life. When one touches That, the “spiritual” heights seem pale. That is all I have to say. So we do not at all need to be superyogis to have this contact, and those who have found Nirvana, or what have you, have not advanced one inch toward That, because the clue to That is not up there at all or outside, but in your own small capacity of flame.
So if instead of splitting hairs, you set out boldly on the road, afire, you would perhaps discover that we are indeed at the Hour of God and that a single spark of sincere effort, at one’s own level, opens doors which have been closed for millenniums.
P.S. To help you read Mother, I am enclosing two texts by her.
* * *
“One could say that it is far more difficult to go from the mental to the supramental life than to go from a certain psychic emotion in life – something that is like a reflection, a luminous emanation of the divine Presence in matter – to the supramental consciousness; it is much easier to go from that into the supramental consciousness than to go from the highest intellectual speculation to any supramental vibration. Perhaps it is the word that misleads us! Perhaps it is because we call it ‘supramental’ that we expect to reach it through a higher intellectual mental activity. But the reality is quite different. With this very high and pure and lofty intellectual activity, one seems to go towards a kind of cold, powerless abstraction, an icy light that is surely very remote from life and still further away from the experience of the supramental reality.
The new substances that is spreading and acting in the world contains a warmth, a power, a joy so intense that all intellectual activity seems cold and dry beside it. And that is why the less one talks about these things, the better it is. A single instant, a single impulse of deep and true love, a single minute of deep communion with the divine Grace brings you much closer to the goal than all possible explanations.” (Questions and Answers, 5.14.1958)
* * *
“In the other hemisphere, there is an intensity and a plenitude which result in a power different from the one here. How can I explain it? One 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. Here, we have reached the end, the summit, but ... it’s the quality that is different. The quality, in the sense that there is a plenitude, a richness, a power (this is all a translation, you see, in our language), 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 one occurs when we enter the supramental world.
And in fact each time a new world opens up, there will perhaps be a new reversal of this kind.
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 silvery vibration, 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 makes all the difference. This whole spiritual life of the psychic being and of all our present consciousness, which seems 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 will bring about such an EVER-NEW richness of creation from stage to stage, that it will make whatever came before seem very poor in comparison. What to us seems supremely rich compared to our ordinary life appears very poor when compared to this new reversal of consciousness.”
(Agenda I, November 15, 1958, pp. 236-237)
April 21, 1971
I’ve received some news from my friend in Paris who looked after “The Gold-Washer” and “The Adventure of Consciousness.” I mentioned “The Sannyasin” to him, or rather the difficulties of the “Sannyasin,” and also “Supermanhood.”
On the Way to Supermanhood is the important one.
My friend thinks the two should be presented as a unit.
But On the Way to Supermanhood is like this (gesture above) in relation to the Sannyasin.
They’re two very different kinds of book.
Oh, definitely!... Supermanhood is the important one for me. We shouldn’t draw the attention to the other one and then....
No, what will happen is that they’ll probably take both or refuse both.
You think so?... They shouldn’t take the Sannyasin and leave the other one.
I can see to that. But I don’t think so, because “Supermanhood” is really much more accessible; so I don’t think they’d make the reverse choice.
There are no limits to human stupidity, you know.
First they have to read them and see.
I don’t very much like the destiny of the two books being mixed together. You see, I had made a special formation [for “Supermanhood”], I had put a special force, but it was on that one.
I can call him, it’s quite easy.
It would be better to tell him.
I’ll write him. But I doubt there’s any kind of danger.
(Mother purses her lips skeptically) We’ll see.
But you know (this is an aside), the “Sannyasin” isn’t so low as that.
But I didn’t say it was “low.” It’s an entirely different kind of book.
Because basically, “Supermanhood” contains the essence of the “Sannyasin”; the whole of the “Sannyasin” is in “Supermanhood.” “Supermanhood” is simply concentrated and said with power, but everything is there in the “Sannyasin” as well.
(Mother nods her head)
The “Sannyasin” is the “story” of “Supermanhood.”
But that’s why, mon petit! That’s just it! I think men like the easier things.
But experience has shown that people don’t understand my story at all, while they will understand “Supermanhood.”
You think so?
Yes. They don’t understand my story. Four publishers have read it and all four have said that it was incomprehensible.
(Mother is reassured)
So I don’t think there’s any danger! [with a touch of bitterness].
Then it’s all right.
* * *
(A little later. Concerning a young Frenchman just arrived in Pondicherry.)
I saw the boy who went to see you twice ... (Mother expresses thinness with her fingers). Very thin. I don’t think he has much strength, but ... I was supposed to decide if he should return to France or go to the Himalayas.... The Himalayas are a little beyond his strength, but if he goes back to France, he’ll go down the drain.
So I think he should be given a chance, let him try. If he doesn’t hold up, he’ll be crushed.
Better be crushed while seeking something than be crushed while going downhill!
That’s OUR opinion. But among ordinary people ... there are not two in a hundred who would make that choice. You have no idea, oh! ... Anyway, he has shown some goodwill, so let’s give him a chance.
I wanted to speak to you, I said I would answer him this evening. Of the two possibilities, let him go to the Himalayas.
I’ll tell him.
Tell him his highest possibility is being given to him.... He’ll have done his utmost in his life if he goes there.
I am such a different person that I don’t remember my past life anymore! I was asked a question this morning: I was blank! I was asked whether the first time I came to Pondicherry I came by train or by boat. The second time I still remember [by boat]. Logically it’s by train; but it’s like giving an answer concerning someone else.
An impression of something that belongs to someone else – it’s quite curious. Usually it’s the body that retains the continuity of the being, but that continuity belongs to such a material and superficial realm that ... (Mother shakes her head) unbelievable. All that seems ... it’s as if I were speaking of someone else. It’s curious. No sense – no sense at all of the personality. Someone whose history I know well, that’s all. It’s quite curious. I didn’t know it had gone so far.
April 28, 1971
(On the occasion of the laying of the first stone of the Matrimandir on February 21, Satprem had written a letter to the architect of Auroville.)
I saw your letter (I saw it in English), the letter you wrote to R. for the “Matrimandir”.... It’s interesting, it’s good.... They have a bulletin, a “Gazette,” it will be published there.
I get a lot of requests from all sorts of people, either to say something or do something or comment on something or.... I feel it’s not so good.
What do they ask you?
One thing or another, a commentary, an explanation, “what do I think of....”
But does it come from Auroville?
Most of it, yes.
Listen, there’s quite a lazy group in Auroville!
Oh, that, yes!
People who don’t want to work. Now they say that according to your book, to get the true consciousness, one doesn’t have to work!
Yes, that’s it. I heard that also. They say, “Work belongs to the old world”...!
Yes, that’s how they understand it. So, what can you do?... What did you reply to them?
I spoke to R. I told him what I thought. I said that work is the foundation.
It’s by being and working in matter that one can bring a little consciousness into oneself.
Yes, that’s it.
And if there isn’t any work, there isn’t any transformation.
Yes, that’s exactly what I wrote to them. He told me, “They couldn’t care less.”
Oh, yes, that’s true!
Maybe they would listen to you if you told them that.
If you like, I can write.
Yes, you can write. Maybe they would listen to you, because they’re saying that in the name of your book, you see!
Oh, you know, in the name of my book they also say that Sri Aurobindo and Mother are now obsolete, and that in a way my book supersedes all that!
Yes, oh, exactly! (general laughter)
I’ve heard just about everything.
Yes, that’s it! (laughter)
So, what can I say in the face of such things!?
One even wrote me, “So, Sri Aurobindo didn’t have the key to the superman.”
Yes, I’m the one who’s given it, you see.
(Mother laughs) I think there are no limits to human stupidity.
One doesn’t know what to do or say because it’s....
No, they have to be told: you’re talking nonsense.
Oh, I told them, you know, but still.... I told them they had a lot of nerve. And I asked them, “But where do you think I learned what I’ve written!?”
Exactly! (Mother laughs)
They’re terribly angry with me because I told them discipline is indispensable.
But of course!
That’s old hat, you see.
But, Mother, I told R. that the basic mistake is that when those people came here, everything was handed to them: he gave them ready-made houses, they were given all they needed to eat – they got everything on a silver platter. While these people should have been made to build their own houses and to plant their own potatoes if they wanted to eat; they should have done everything by themselves.
And I told them, “How can you possibly build a New World with coolies? One does not make a new world with hired labor!”
I think a whole group of those people should go.
Yes, that’s my feeling.
To one of them I said, “If I went over there, I’d go with a whip!”
(Mother laughs) There’s really a subhuman group over there.
Yes, certainly.... But how can you eliminate that?
Another example: they even have a hired cook to do their cooking, those people!
There’s a fundamental flaw in all that, you know.
But how can that be?
That’s the way it is, you see. They have a hired cook.
What do you propose then?
Nothing, I don’t know, Mother.
I feel R. should organize things in such a way that people are compelled to work.
Yes.... Yes, we’ll have to do something.
That way, the sorting out would be done right away.
Yes.... But I need to know the number of people in the group, both those who work and those who do nothing. And then....
Of course, we could take very “drastic” steps.
For instance, so many hours of work per day are required in order to be fed, or else you eat only if you pay for it.
Yes, Mother, it should be done. Because, you see, they are so crafty that they all say they work: they putter around here and there, they go to work on the Matrimandir for half an hour or so.... So, to them, they’ve “worked.” You see, they just putter around.
(after a silence)
I suddenly felt I had lost my influence over those people. I tell them things – they couldn’t care less.
You could speak to R. and see.
Yes, Mother.... But R. says, “Mother doesn’t want to interfere. Mother doesn’t want to make any decisions.” But I think perhaps it’s up to him to make a decision.
But no one will listen to him. You see, I can’t make decisions anymore because they don’t listen to me. As long as they listened to me, it was easy – it was easy, there was an influence. Now, something has happened, I don’t have any authority at all anymore, so what can we do?
Well, if you tell R., he will see that it’s done.
(Mother goes within for a long time)
We’ll have to find some way....
Mother, it seems to me you could call together those who are responsible and take some decisions.
Yes, good idea.
The trouble is that when several of them are here together, they talk among themselves, I don’t hear. So....
If it would help, I can be there.
I think it would.
I really feel it is necessary to start again on a new basis and the entire place must be swept clean of all those people. We have to start afresh in a new location and make them work.
Yes, but how about the accommodations?
In the meantime they could live in huts, which they would build themselves.
But they’re in huts.
I mean with thatched roofs.
I’ll try to arrange something. I’ll tell you Saturday.
April 29, 1971
(These few words were said to Sujata at the time of her daily visit to Mother. Mother first asks about Sujata, then about Satprem. Then she sits absorbed.)
The world is going mad.
We have to keep the faith like this (gesture of clenched fists). Not here (pointing to the forehead), but here, like this, in the Divine.
May 1, 197
(Mother is late by more than an hour.)
So what do you have to say?
Nothing special, Mother.
And me neither!... I only have people quarreling.
Anyway ... it will straighten itself out, maybe.
I have sent many messages ... (Mother looks for some papers). A government minister came, who has 400,000 workers on strike; they wrote me to ask him to have pity on the poor people (God knows what the story is!), but the gentleman came, gave me flowers, took my flower, and then ran off! I didn’t have a chance to do anything.
I wanted to tell him this:
(Mother hands Satprem a note)
Most of the suffering is due to men’s ignorance. We must have compassion and help them.
But I didn’t have a chance to tell him. He seemed to be a man ... (gesture like iron). I don’t know what’s happening, but it’s like that everywhere, everywhere.
Yes, everywhere. One really gets the feeling that the world is in complete turmoil.
Yes, oh, yes!
And people also.
It’s been like that since this morning, strikes and.... The school in Delhi is closed.... And then the impression that order has to be restored BY USING THE VERY ONES WHO HAVE CREATED THE DISORDER. It came to me very strongly. That’s what I am trying to do in Delhi, by using the man who triggered the teacher’s strike. He came to see me, and I said to him (his dismissal from the school started the whole thing): “I am putting you back in the school so you can restore order!” And he accepted. I think it can be tried out. He left today.
(Text of Mother’s message to the teacher:)
“We (human beings) are not living for the satisfaction of our ego; we live to fulfill God’s will. But to be able to perceive and to know the will of God, we must be without desires and preferences. Otherwise we mistake for God’s will our own limited ideas and principles.
It is in the wide peace of an absolute and devoted sincerity free from fixed ideas and preferences that we can realize the conditions required to know God’s Will and it is with a fearless discipline that we must execute it.”
April 30, 1971
And that is what has to be done. Instead of resting on the foundation of ordinary goodwill and all the moral and social rules – all that, brrm! fizzled out – we must rise above, we must have the Divine Will and the Divine Harmony, that is what we want; and as for those who are rebelling against the ordinary order of things and the ordinary social conventions: well, prove that you are in touch with a higher consciousness and a truer truth.
It’s the time to make a ...(gesture of a leap upward).
As for the power of organization, it’s ... an extremely powerful power that has come – I feel that just by doing this (Mother quietly closes her hand), I can crush things. It’s quite surprising. And so, if this power is put at the service of a higher order, of the truer consciousness ... something will be achieved.
We must ... we must take a leap upward.
All those who seek to restore order pull back towards all the old ideas – that’s why they are unsuccessful. But that’s all over now. It’s over. We are going upward. Only those who can go upward are able to accomplish something.
You don’t have anything? Nothing to ask?
Everything is all right?
Yes, Mother.... I don’t understand very well the direction I’m going in.
There’s only one direction – toward the Divine. And as you know, it’s as much inside as outside, above as below. Everywhere. It’s in this very world that we must find the Divine and cling to Him – to Him alone, there’s no other way. It’s not here or there, it’s everywhere, but....
(Mother goes into
May 5, 1971
I have some news from S. about the Russian translation [of “Supermanhood”]. The person who’s doing it has already translated the introduction and sent her text. S. says this, “In Russian it is very beautiful – enthralling. The very sound of the language conveys something that goes straight to your heart. And personally, in the little I’ve read, I have felt the particular flow of your style....”
Oh, that’s good, that’s good.
I have great hope for the Russians.... I don’t know why.... They’ve had an experience and have realized the emptiness of it all.
(Mother goes within for a long time)
Nothing in particular?
There’s the problem of the English translation of the book.
A. didn’t tell me what he thought of it.
A. said that it doesn’t come through – what’s behind doesn’t come through. You’re forever asking yourself what it means.
But then he says that all things considered, because they don’t understand what it means, people will be induced to come back to what they’ve read (!) and try to understand ... the second time around they’ll understand and perhaps they’ll come in contact....
(Mother shakes her head)
It’s a very faithful translation literally, but what’s behind doesn’t come through.
People won’t go to such trouble.... Maybe one in a....
Do you want to have it read by an Indian?
And ask him if he understands?
(Sujata suggests a young teacher in the School.
Yes, it has to be someone young.
Some people believed that what we put in the Bulletin last time was meant for the people of the Ashram. So I think we should put a note to say that’s not the case.
The passage where I say, “Humans are crusted over.”
Many people in the Ashram took it to mean themselves.
Well, maybe that’s not so wrong! I find I am myself rather crusted over.
(Mother laughs) But I don’t want to say unpleasant things!
It’s rather healthy sometimes, you know.
You think we should leave it, then?
Well, I think.... I don’t know.... It seems so obvious to me, you know. Is there anything perfectly malleable and transparent in us?
(Mother points to her body, laughing) This isn’t!
Well then, so let’s leave it.
I’ve finally understood that people don’t read things as they are. They read only what they have in their heads and in their desires.
So those who want to understand wrong will understand wrong in any case.
I’ve just reached the same conclusion. So I said: I won’t say anything anymore.
Yes, in the end, you stop speaking!
(Sujata:) Only, those who do want to understand will lose out – there are many.
(Satprem:) But look, Mother, perhaps you’re receiving some protests from a certain number of people, but there are many here, many more than ... well, of course I can’t say “more than you think”(!), but who are doing their job quietly and trying to understand – there are many. And it helps them, it does them good.
To tell the truth, I really don’t care one way or another ... But I don’t want to be mean.
Oh, come on, that’s not being mean!
(Mother goes within)
May 8, 1971
How are you?
It’s not easy!
What’s the matter?
Well, EVERYTHING gives the impression of being like that. The feeling something is fiercely after the world, after people.
Something very fierce, which wants to destroy everything.
Everything seems topsy-turvy.
What has happened up there [in Delhi]? I have no idea.... Indira only said....
Here, I’ll give you an example: yesterday, from a quite reliable source, I was told that every country – almost every foreign country – has recognized Bangladesh and only India has not (and another one I don’t remember). Today I am told that Indira said that no country has granted recognition. Well.... So you see, the lying is official.
Yes, it’s official. But did you see...? I’ve just now seen Indira’s statement in the newspapers:
“The Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi today set to rest all speculations about an early recognition of Bangla Desh by indicating quite clearly that the government of India did not propose to do so in the near future.” (The Hindu, May 8, 1971)
Also I was told that Russia was the one opposed to recognition because she wanted to bring about a compromise with Pakistan. That’s what I was told. But since everything is lies, one just doesn’t know.
Yes. In any event, no country, not one has officially recognized Bangladesh – not a single one.
So what she said was true then!
Yes, and here [in “The Hindu”] they say:
“The Soviet Prime Minister, Mr. Kosygin, is reliably reported to have sent two letters to President Yahya Khan of Pakistan urging a negotiated settlement on East Bengal crisis, and to have asked Mrs. Indira Gandhi not to escalate the crisis so that the peaceful solution which both Russia and India want may be achieved.”
In other words, they’re seeking a compromise, like the last time at Tashkent.
(Mother raises her arms) ... Everything has to be started all over again.
Yes, everything has to be started all over.
But is it true, there was a rumor going around the Ashram yesterday or the day before that you had sent a new message to Indira Gandhi saying that if she did not recognize Bangladesh, there was no point in her asking your advice....
No, I didn’t send the message.
But it may be that.... If U. sees her (I didn’t ask him not to say anything to her), it may be that he’ll tell her.... I said it to U. just like that.
Oh, I see!
So he may have got it into his head to tell her, I don’t know.
And I heard also that you said that if she didn’t recognize Bangladesh, there would be even more serious consequences in the future.
Yes, I think so.
You think so, yes.
It becomes more difficult each time.
Each time they put the thing off.... Oh, if only they had done it immediately, it would have been very good. Now, it’s five weeks already....
Yes, five weeks.
It’s already more difficult. If they put it off again, it will be even more difficult.
But anyway, I didn’t send any message.
Naturally, she thinks I don’t have all the facts – but of course!
She knows better than you obviously! But really if she had the slightest inner discernment, she would understand that you have a wider vision of things.
Yes, but that....
You see, there are different ... (what shall I say?) they’re like “layers of conditioning” (gesture of levels), and I always try to lead people to the highest layer so that things happen without too much difficulty; but they always insist on being on the lowest layer, the nearest one. So that causes.... That’s how things get complicated. If those who are capable of pulling down from above at one stroke were there [in the government], things would go swiftly and smoothly, but it’s those who have the nearest conditioning and naturally understand the nearest who are there – those people are there [in the government]. And so things have to follow a certain (meandering gesture) path, and it’s endless.
Well, that means the world is not ready!
It will take another few hundred years.
(Mother raises her arms) Well, it will take a few hundred years.
Oh, but in that case, I’d prefer Kali!
People don’t understand. Things have to follow a comfortable little path. (Mother draws meandering paths in the air) That way, they understand.
You see, the faith of people is a superstition – it’s not faith, it’s superstition. Now there are more and more people who think they have faith, and they ask me ridiculous things! They have superstitions like.... Someone brings me a child born with a deformed arm, and the superstition is that if I put my hand on the arm of the child, he’ll be healed.... Things like that. It’s completely stupid. That’s not Power! They need a little miracle, you know, at their level.
Humanity is still very small, very small, very small.
Yes, one feels that.
But even those who might have a power.... Look how it is: certain people could have a power, they would just have to have the true inspiration – they’re afraid of it, mon petit! They reject the true inspiration, because they think that things have to follow their “natural” course – so-called natural.
Humanity rejects the true miracle. It only believes in....
So when I say I won’t say anything anymore because they didn’t listen to me, I look like someone who’s upset, which is completely ridiculous, I really don’t care! Personally there’s nothing for or against or.... Only I SEE, I see that since the direct relation was not possible [the highest conditioning], naturally things are going to have to follow ... (sinuous gesture) every possible complication of the ordinary way.
While we are right in the midst of the true miracle!
So, if they say, “Mother is angry, she is leaving you,” that’s one more stupidity added to the already existing ones. That’s all.
They have chosen, they have chosen the path of the turtle. So that’s how it will be.
There are moments – what Sri Aurobindo called The Hour of God – there are moments when the true, the true miracle is possible; if that moment is missed, then the world will go ... at its turtle pace.
And it’s hard – a lot of suffering, a lot of complications.... But faith, who has faith? True faith.
But you see, even those who are here attribute purely human feelings and reactions to me.... So....
But Mother, I’m hopeful.
I have one hope. There is something I feel as a strong possibility, more and more so.
All the youth, those who are 16, 17 or 20 now, who seem to be going completely mad, well, in reality, all those young people NO LONGER WANT the present Machinery – they don’t want it anymore. So they do foolish things....
They take drugs, they do all sorts of foolish things.
Oh, even worse than that, mon petit! They’ve become murderers.
Yes, there are all sorts of things, but in spite of everything, I feel it’s a good sign, that the movement is going to increase more and more and that the whole Machinery of the men of yesterday is going to collapse – the social and political machinery and all the rest....
For instance, I see many of those so-called hippies, you know, those wanderers, those young people who have turned their backs on society, who do all sorts of foolish things; well, several times I took one aside and simply spoke to him the language of Truth, and he understood at once! He had simply never been told anything.
All those people have never been told the true thing. And I have the feeling that all the so-called lost youth isn’t lost at all! It needs only to receive the true word.
Yes, but who’s going to give it to them?
Well, I don’t know, Mother. If I had the power, I would do it willingly. But the miracle is still possible with these people.
Yes. Yes, but ... there has to be someone to say it.
Yes, there should be a Vivekananda for Sri Aurobindo.
(Mother laughs, very amused)
And their reversal could be effected swiftly and easily, I’m sure. You see, they’re not perverted, they’re simply ... they don’t know.
That’s what you should call for, Mother: a great inspired man.
That’s what you should call for.
But I’ve been calling him for a long time.
Yes, Mother, a great inspired man with physical strength.
Yes, oh, yes!
It has to be someone physically solid.
All the time, day and night, like this (Mother holds her clenched fists in front of her as though pulling or calling the Force).
It is a world event. It is not the event of one country [Bangladesh], it is a world event. And that’s why....
May 12, 1971
I don’t know if you’ve seen these....
(Mother hands Satprem several sheets of paper)
“I disapprove totally of violence. Each act of violence is a step back on the path leading to the goal to which we aspire. The Divine is everywhere and always supremely conscious. Nothing must ever be done that cannot be done before the Divine.”
That’s for someone rather primary, but anyway....
(some more papers)
All that is for Auroville. I am giving them to you so you’ll know.
* * *
How is the situation?
Oh, horrible! A mess!
Stories to make your hair stand on end.
It’s like a concentration of adverse forces wanting to create as much confusion as possible.... And what is amusing is that they’re coming from all sides [asking Mother’s advice] except Pakistan – Pakistan doesn’t ask anything, but otherwise.... And all that....
But I was told fantastic things, for example, that Pakistan wanted India to declare war because she would immediately call for China’s help; and that Pakistan is already receiving arms from America through Turkey.... Such things....
You know that America has quietly started giving economic aid to Pakistan again.
They’re doing it quietly, discreetly, but they’re doing it. Their intention is to put Pakistan back on her feet.
Why, then it’s over!
Yes, everything has to be started over.
They’re mad! – They’re all mad, mad, mad....
In other words, they missed the first chance; they missed the second chance; now we don’t know when it will come again....
And it seems that almost all of India is officially in favor of the recognition of Bangladesh.
Yes, almost all India.... But with her supposedly higher reasons, Indira obstinately refuses to budge.
Did anyone tell you what is happening in Ceylon?
No one told you anything about Ceylon!
Oh, but it’s awful, it’s very important, Mother. For the last month, about 40,000 students have been waging guerrilla warfare with the government, and they are being massacred by the government.
So they have taken refuge in the jungle and they’re waging guerrilla warfare. Thousands have been arrested. And they’re all students. But then what is extraordinary is that India, which is not intervening in Bangladesh, has intervened in Ceylon, sending helicopters and boats to help the government stop....
Oh!... Oh, that’s the last straw!... Oh! (Mother covers her eyes in dismay.)
They’re creating a terrible Karma for themselves!
Yes, they’re heaping troubles on their own head.
The latest argument is that Pakistan wants India to declare war so she can call China to her aid, you see.
But in any case the Chinese are on Pakistan’s side. In any case. The Chinese are already there in Pakistan, do you know?
Yesterday P. returned from Calcutta and showed me a rifle bullet, and it’s a Chinese bullet.
Already they have some ... [men there].
But, Mother, don’t forget that India betrayed Tibet! When Tibet was invaded by the Chinese, Nehru kept his mouth, eyes and ears shut and did nothing to help the Tibetans....
(Mother shakes her head)
All that is the continuation of Gandhi’s legacy – this false politics is being perpetrated by Gandhi’s sons.
No, you see ... you see, they’re even fighting on the wrong side in Ceylon.
No, it’s not that – it’s much worse than Gandhi.
(Mother goes within for a long time)
You don’t have anything?
All that isn’t very encouraging.
(Mother nods her head) No, it’s worse still: there is a VERY disastrous formation over India, and they’re pulling it down, the fools!
But precisely, Mother, one just can’t keep from thinking that Kali has to intervene.
(after a silence)
But already quite some time ago I saw China invading India, even South India. And that’s the worst of catastrophes – the Chinese don’t have a psychic being. The Chinese have a lunar origin and they don’t have a psychic being (there are exceptions, but I mean in general), and so one can expect ANYTHING from them – every possible horror. I’ve seen them – all, everywhere ... horrible!
I’ve seen the Chinese in this room.
But several times during the last years that thought has come to me, Mother – several times it came to me.
Which is the end of everything. I mean, it will probably take centuries before things can return to normalcy.
You see, there are limits to the horrors men can commit because, in spite of everything, there is a psychic being behind that curbs them – but the Chinese don’t have one.
And they are VERY intelligent.
(Mother goes within a long time)
Mother, the problem is to find out how one can counteract all that, because in 1950 already, Sri Aurobindo had told the Americans: if you yield in Korea, you will be led to yield every position point after point. Sri Aurobindo said that in 1950. Well, since 1950, we have yielded every position, point after point, and now India is completely encircled by China – point after point they have yielded: Kashmir and Tibet and all that – we are encircled by the Chinese. And we are still yielding [in Bangladesh]. So how to thwart all that?
For example, Mother, the Americans are quietly giving aid to Pakistan again because they say, their reasoning is: if we don’t give aid, then we leave the whole territory of Pakistan to the Chinese.
That’s sheer ... [madness].
(Mother strikes her forehead, then goes within, shakes her head several times, then takes Satprem’s hands and both go within)
May 15, 1971
What do you bring?
The idea came to me to write an article on “Sri Aurobindo and Bangladesh....” But I don’t know whether it would be helpful, or whether anything should be said at all.
But where could it be published?
I think in one of the newspapers in India, that’s easy.
What did you write? I am curious.
(Satprem reads the article. At one point in the text, he briefly mentions what he thinks each country represents: France = clarity of intellect; Germany = ingenuity; Russia = the brotherhood of man.... Mother interrupts:)
You said nothing for the United States.
What is it?
(Satprem finishes his reading)
Oh, it’s good!... It should be put into proper English.
Can it be of any help – can it STILL be of help?
Oh, yes, oh, definitely! – It should be immediately....
Isn’t it too late?
No.... We must try, at all events.
It needs proper English.... Who can translate it?
Can Sujata try?
Sujata, are you literary? (laughter)
It’s full of power, that power has to be kept.
(after suggesting names for a possible translator)
What will we do with the translation then?
Can we try sending it to newspapers in Madras, Delhi and Calcutta?
We should.... The newspapers won’t dare – they’ll be afraid of government reprisals.
But, Mother, on the whole, all of India was against Delhi’s decision. Everywhere, in all the papers I saw that they completely disapproved of Delhi’s decision. Entire India is against Indira on that particular point.
We have to think about it. We shouldn’t send it out haphazardly, someone should take it in hand. We must find a way to have it printed right away.
How much time did you take to write it?
You aren’t pessimistic?
No. You see, what God wills will be. And I take God in the sense of....
And that’s what I said to.... N.S. sent U. expressly to ask me what she should do, because Indira doesn’t listen to her at all anymore – not at all – and she seems to be completely ... well, anyway, as though submerged by a hostile formation. So I replied that I personally have only one hope (Mother clenches her fists in front of her as though clinging to something): “Let the Divine Will be done,” and “All those who are capable of helping the contact and hastening the reception of that Will here must put all their consciousness and aspiration into it.” That’s what I replied.... And this (indicating the article), from the standpoint of action, is the last chance – not that people listen very much, but it creates a current of force.
The great argument is that the people of Bangladesh don’t care and have stopped defending themselves.
And already over two million refugees have come into India, and they’re expecting the two million to swell to ten million. And India won’t have anything to eat. That’ what’s going to happen tomorrow, immediately. It’s really a bottomless pit.... Ten million swarming into North India.
I called – I called, I asked for help – and that [the article] came, and it’s good, it’s very good. Since it came, it’s a last hope.
We must find a large number of newspapers in all the provinces.
And I wouldn’t sign your name. I would put “A lover of India,” something like that.
You wouldn’t like something like “A letter from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram”?... No, you’re right, “A lover of India” is the right tone.
Yes, there are a lot of things around it.
Yes, that’s right.
It would be nice to put “A disciple of Sri Aurobindo, a lover of India.” But that ... we’ll see.
* * *
Sri Aurobindo and Bangladesh
Behind the jostle of temporary points of view and instant interests there are the Eternal Landmarks. To lose sight of them is to lose one’s very way and steer onto the reefs of expediency and comfortable compromise upon which we shall founder a moment later. Behind the little frontal events is the greater tide of history and to lose sight of it is to lose one’s direction and the golden thread that leads to our perfect fulfillment, be it individual or national. Those who have left their unique mark upon the labyrinth of history are the very ones who have seized the golden thread and affirmed the Greater History and the Greater Meaning against all the instant arguments and fleeting expediencies.
The Greater History tells us that the whole earth is a single body with a single destiny, but that within that single destiny each part of the greater body, each nation, has its special role to play and its rare moments of choice when it must make the decisive gesture, its true gesture in the total movement of the great Eternal History. Each nation is a symbol. Each gesture of each nation potentially represents a little victory in the total victory or a little defeat in the total defeat. And sometimes the whole of our history is at stake at a symbolic point of the earth; and, a little gesture, a tiny turn to the right or left, has repercussions, either good or bad, down the ages and over the entire earth body.
India is precisely such a symbol and Bangladesh is another, a little turning point in the great course of events of the earth. The time has come to consider the eternal Landmarks and read the greater tide in the small eddies. Now, the greater tide tells us that India’s role is to be the spiritual heart of the terrestrial body just as, for example, the role of France is to express clarity of intellect, or that of Germany to express skill, Russia the brotherhood of man and the United States enthusiasm for adventure and practical organization, etc. But only if India is ONE can she fulfill this role, for how can one who is herself divided lead others? Thus the division of India is the first Falsehood that must disappear, for it is the symbol of the earth’s division. As long as India is not one, the world cannot be one. India’s striving for unity is the symbolic drama of the world’s striving for unity.
From this simple, eternal Fact follow all the conclusions and policies that will flow with the current of the earth’s destiny. Sri Aurobindo said so already in 1947, “The division must and will go.” Dire will be the consequences for India and for the earth if we fail to heed this eternal Theorem: “The old communal division into Hindus and Muslims seems now to have hardened into a permanent political division of the country,” said Sri Aurobindo. “It is to be hoped that this settled fact will not be accepted as settled for ever or as anything more than a temporary expedient. For if it lasts, India may be seriously weakened, even crippled: civil strife may remain always possible, possible even a new invasion and foreign conquest.” We now know, twenty-four years after this prophetic declaration, that China is at our gates and only awaits her hour to invade the entire continent, seizing precisely on this division of India to strike at the spiritual heart of the world and, perhaps, frustrating the realization of the entire destiny of the earth or postponing it until a future cycle after much suffering and complication.
The Great History tells us that India must again be one, and that particular current of history is so imperative that twice already Destiny has managed to put India before the possibility of her reunification. The first time was in 1965 when Pakistan’s foolish aggressiveness enabled India to counterattack and carry the battle right into the suburbs of Lahore – and up to Karachi had she but had the courage to seize boldly her destiny. The hour was indeed for a decisive choice. The Mother declared categorically: “India is fighting for the triumph of Truth, and She must fight until India and Pakistan become ONE again, for such is the truth of their being.” At Tashkent, we yielded on the crest of a petty compromise which was to lead us into a second, more bloody and painful reef, Bangladesh. There too destiny graciously arranged to enable India to hasten to the aid of her massacred brethren – even the famous skyjacking incident of January was, as it were, arranged by the Grace so as to spare India from delaying her intervention until it was too late (or to spare her the shame of not intervening at all and allowing Pakistan’s planes to fly over her head loaded with weaponry and murderers to slaughter her brothers). But there again, yielding to the demands of the moment and to the small, shortsighted interests, we refused to accept the challenge of the Great Direction of our History, and we now find ourselves on the brink of a new compromise which will lead us inevitably to a third and even more disastrous and bloody reef. For one day India must inevitably face that which twice she has fled. Only each time the conditions are more disastrous for her and for the world – perhaps so disastrous that the whole earth will even be engulfed in another general conflict, while the whole story could have been resolved at the little symbolic point that is Bangladesh, at the right hour, with the right gesture and a minimum of suffering.
For let there be no doubt about it, the Bangladesh affair is not an Indian event, it is a world event. The division of India is not a local incident, it is a terrestrial Falsehood which must disappear if the division of the world is to disappear. And here again we hear the voice of Sri Aurobindo, six months before his passing, referring to yet another phenomenon which then seemed of such slight importance, so remote, a trifling “local” affair at the other end of the world: the invasion of South Korea in 1950, twenty-one years ago. And yet that small Korean symbol, like the small symbol of Bangladesh (or the one of Czechoslovakia in 1938), contained in seed the whole fatal course which is still carrying the world toward a sinister destiny: “The affair of Korea,” wrote Sri Aurobindo, “is the first move in the Communist plan of campaign to dominate and take possession first of these northern parts and then of South East Asia as a preliminary to their manoeuvres with regard to the rest of the continent – in passing, Tibet as a gate opening to India.” Now, twenty-one years later, we see that Tibet and the whole of South East Asia have been swallowed up and the “gate into India” has truly been opened wide by the wound of the Pakistani Falsehood – already, or very shortly, the Chinese are, or will be, in Khulna, some eighty miles from Calcutta, to help Yahya Khan to “pacify” Bengal. And Sri Aurobindo added, “If they succeed, there is no reason why domination of the whole world should not follow by steps until they are ready to deal with America.”
This is where we are today. That which we want to avoid returns upon us with tenfold force. The hour for political calculation, for the pros and cons of our petty mathematics of expediency (which always goes awry) is past. The time has come to rediscover the Great Direction of India, which is really the Great Direction of the world, and to place our faith in the Spirit that guides her Destiny, rejecting petty fears of a phantom world opinion and doing away with the little supports which only lend support to the Enemy. Tomorrow America will perhaps resume her economic aid to Pakistan on the pretext of counteracting the Chinese presence. The Bangladesh slaughter will be honorably justified by a pseudoregime which will operate with the blessings of the international community. But one does not cheat the tide of history: for the third time our little compromises will crumble and we will find ourselves confronted with a terrible ordeal, its intensity nourished by our own successive failures in the past. The sooner not only India, but America and Russia too, understand the unreality of Pakistan and the magnitude of what is at stake at the borders of India, the sooner may the looming catastrophe be halted before it becomes totally and definitely irrevocable. “One thing is certain,” wrote Sri Aurobindo a few months before his passing, “that if there is too much shilly-shallying and if America gives up now her defence of Korea” [we could say even more: the defense of Bangladesh] “she may be driven to yield position after position until it is too late: at one point or another she will have to stand and face the necessity of drastic action even if it leads to war.”
For the battle of India is the battle of the world. This is where the world’s tragic destiny is brewing, or its last-minute burst of hope into a new world of Truth and Light, for it is said that the deepest darkness lies nearest the most luminous light.
The last Asura must die at the feet of the Eternal Mother.
A lover of India
May 19, 1971
There is something from Nolini.... A thought came to him and he wrote it down; it’s about Mujibur, the man who led the revolution in Bangladesh and whom they imprisoned.
Yes, he is now in Pakistan.
I don’t know. But a thought came to Nolini and he wrote it down:
risked her body but saved her soul.
I refuse. I don’t want to say anything against Indira!
Yes, but what happened is that he wrote this down, left it on his table, and as usual people go by; they saw it, took it, copied it, and passed it around.
Oh!... That’s going to get us into great trouble! It’s very regrettable – very regrettable. I didn’t want to say anything against Indira.
But it’s terrible the way people come into his room, take papers lying on his table and proceed to pass them around!
But why does he leave them on the table! (Mother looks very angry) It’s disastrous. A dreadful blunder. It’s going to get me into big, big trouble – just what I wanted to avoid.
I think, or hope at any rate, that it won’t get out of the small collectivity of the Ashram.
It always gets out. And there’s someone (nobody knows who) who sends the government EVERYTHING that appears here.
It’s a disaster.
(Mother goes within
for a long time,
Anything to ask?
It’s not easy.
(Mother makes a
gesture as if to agree
May 22, 1971
So then, what have you brought?
Well, and you, what do YOU say?
Me, I don’t say anything.... I mean if the Lord wants success for us, it can be BREATHTAKING. There is the possibility of a breathtaking success – not in the sky: here. The only thing is to know whether the time for success has come.
It seems that things are much better in Auroville. S. is particularly interested and goes there, and she sent me word that there is a great progress in the atmosphere.
I tell you, everywhere there’s a possibility for an ... extraordinary success. Has the moment come? I don’t know.... Personally, I make myself like this (tiny gesture), physically very small, and I let ...
(gesture open to the Lord).
I would like.... You see, the Will comes, but then all the formations come in and decay its execution – I would like ... I would like my atmosphere to be ... a limpid transmitter, utterly limpid. I don’t even try to know what it is, because that too introduces an ordinary human element. A limpid, limpid transmitter: let it come like this (gesture of direct descent), pure, in all its purity – even if it is overwhelming.
At bottom we don’t know why one thing is like this, another thing is like that, and our vision is ... even if our vision is worldwide, it is so small, so small – so exclusive: we want this, we do not want that. First and FOREMOST to be an instrument: we must be LIMPID, limpid, things must pass through undistorted and unobstructed.
Actually, that’s how I spend all my time, trying to be like that.
But is that possibility of victory which you feel something recent?
It’s recent; because apparently circumstances are obviously not so good – apparently.
Oh, you know.... All circumstances seemed to be poised for a disaster.
Just a few days ago, the disaster seemed to be closing in. And so, at that moment, it was as if my whole being ... what’s the word? (Mother clenches her fists), were, yes, you can call it an aspiration for the true Victory – not the one sought by this side or that side or ... – the true Victory. ALL the difficulties seemed to have been as though a light shone: the possibility of Victory. It’s still ... not miraculous, but the intervention ... it’s the intervention of the Supreme Wisdom – will it concretize? We’ll see. It seems, it seems to be coming like this (gesture at a certain height, her two palms turned downward), as a possibility.
Yes, it’s recent, quite recent. I can’t say because it didn’t come abruptly, but it’s a matter of days.
Yes, because for some time, I was feeling a great pessimism.
That’s a bad attitude.
Well, I didn’t really have that attitude, but it’s like an atmosphere of pessimism that came.
That’s always there.... It’s everything that does not want the Divine which creates the atmosphere deliberately to discourage those who want the Divine. You must ... you mustn’t pay any attention. It’s the device of the devil. Pessimism is the devil’s tool, for he feels his own situation is ... (shaky gesture). You know, if the possibility I see materializes, it will really be a decisive Victory over the adverse forces – naturally they fight back as best as they can. But that’s always the devil, as soon as you see even the tail of pessimism, it’s the devil. That’s his great tool.
(Satprem gets ready to leave,
(Sujata:) Mother, do you remember the other day, when I saw those two eyes appearing on your forehead (you remember, I told you), was that the Wisdom appearing?
Perhaps?... Perhaps.... Perhaps is was the Victory.... If it was the Victory, that’s good.
Do you still see them?
(Mother caresses Sujata’s cheeks)
May 25, 1971
(Note from Satprem to Mother)
I am in the greatest Darkness
Now is the time to cling
* * *
(Sujata’s visit to Mother)
He feels the need of your protection.
Cling to the Divine.
I would like to enfold him like this (gesture). I am within (not “I,” but ...) and acting within.
Deep within. To feel the Light, the Force, the Joy, the Certainty – the Certainty. The Divine Victory is certain. It cannot be otherwise.
He must let the Divine enfold him completely.
May 26, 1971
(Mother had asked a young Indian disciple, M., a mathematics teacher in the School, to read the English translation of “Supermanhood” and to give his opinion.)
(M.:) My first reaction was this: I found the book very poetic, very lovely – I mean the French.
It’s good, isn’t it?
Yes. The English seemed less poetic to me. It’s a translation, but it didn’t give me the same impression as the French.
So, what’s to be done? Another translation?
I don’t know, Mother, I am unable to say. I can’t say if it’s a good translation or a bad one, but when I read it, I felt it was a translation. And it was less poetic – the French is much more poetic.
All right.... Can it be used or not?
I think it can be used.
If it doesn’t distort the thought.
No, it didn’t seem to me to distort the thought.
(To Satprem:) What do you say?
I feel the essence is missing.
(Mother laughs) Yes, exactly!
Do you know the thought that came to me? In America the young D. is going to start a translation for America. Couldn’t it be used here as well?
It’s American. Here they speak English. There’s a difference, oh!...
But if the Power is there, it won’t make any difference.
No, it has to be English.
But then who?... Because in my opinion no translation at all is better than one that doesn’t convey the Force in it. Better nothing at all.
(Satprem to M.:) Did you feel the Force in it?
(M.:) Well, I’m not really capable of speaking about these things, but I can say that when I read the French, it seemed to me that it wasn’t addressed to the intellect, to the heart perhaps, I don’t know – it’s for an aspirant.
(M:) Even an ordinary reader will not grasp it: it has to be an aspirant. I could understand the English better because it’s addressed to the intellect. But ... I’m not at all capable of judging.
(To Satprem:) Who translated your article [on Bangladesh]?
Ah, that’s right.
(M.:) That I found very good, because I read the English version first and I thought it was the original.
Z knows how to translate.
(Satprem:) She knows how to seize the Force and bring it out – that’s what counts.
She should have translated your book!... Only, she’s busy and writes herself.... I am going to ask her. Only, the other one is going to be devastated! (laughter)
But I asked T. [the English translator] the sentences she objected to, and I told her, “I am very sorry, but I see you haven’t understood the book in the least!” She knows it.
(Satprem:) T. said some rather terrible things about my book....
Ah? (Mother laughs merrily)
I was quite upset.
What did she say?
She told me she found certain things “repulsive.”
She found them what?
So I tried to explain to her, “Look, I don’t know, the book literally fell on me.... It landed on me.” Then she said with a kind of forcefulness that affected me very much, “Oh, yes I know, it’s very easy to mistake what comes from the subconscient for an inspiration.”
She said it in such a tone that I was plunged into a dreadful doubt.
She wrote me about it, at any rate, saying that she didn’t feel the Presence in the book – she wrote, “The Presence is missing in this book.”
She knows better than I do.
But anyway, in those conditions, it isn’t possible for the Force to pass through.
That’s right, it can’t be used.
(To M.:) Anything else you would like to say?
(M.:) I didn’t read it with a very critical mind, Mother, but one reaction I did have, I can say frankly: I felt that what Satprem says is natural and it should be kept simple. It reminded me of a similar analogy as when I do a mathematical problem that I find extremely difficult, but once I’ve found the solution, I always think, “But it was so simple! All you had to do was draw this line and everything comes out!” I found the book a little like that.
(Mother nods her head)
But then I would like to ask one thing which I didn’t find in the book: there is no express mention of the guru. Could a person do that all alone, without a guru?
(after a silence)
It’s possible. But, you see, I can only give my own experience – I can only say it’s possible. But in what conditions, I don’t know.
(Satprem to M.:) In a book you can’t openly speak of a guru, telling the readers, “You must follow such and such a person.” You can only make them feel something and turn them toward it, but you can’t very well tell them, “You know, you have to follow such and such a person.”
Yes, of course!
You can’t, you see.
(M.:) Well, I mention this because, reading the book, I felt, “If someone starts following this path without a guru, he may find himself in trouble....” But it’s a book that inspires you to follow the path.
I don’t know, I can’t say because I can only speak from personal experience – that has no value.
(M.:) But it seemed to me it was your experience, especially toward the end of the book.
(Laughing) So I am responsible!
(Satprem:) Well, someone has to be responsible for it!
(M.:) The chapters following “The Sociology of the Superman”: “Afterwards” and “The Conquest of Death,” etc., vividly evoked for me what you say in “Notes on the Way.”
(Mother smiles) Yes, that’s the yoga of the body.
(M.:) But you alone are doing that, so....
You think so? (laughter)
(Satprem:) I think so, yes! (laughter)
I must say that if it comes to you like that, as a necessity, that’s all right, but one should not seek to do it.... It’s not very pleasant!
(Turning to M.:) So, when you’d like to see me, say so.
(M. laughing:) That’s very difficult!
I see an average of a hundred people a day – on average.
(M.:) Yes, that’s why it’s becoming difficult to ask you, Mother.
But that doesn’t matter – just one.
(M.:) That’s how it becomes a hundred! (general laughter)
Obviously.... Well, it doesn’t matter, I am glad to see you.
(M. goes out,
So how are you, mon petit!... Better?
I hope so, with your grace.
There’s a whole part of me that must disappear.
Yes, but I thought it was gone.... It’s quite curious. For me, it’s not at all you.
I thought it was gone. I have the impression of someone driven out and who has come back. But it doesn’t matter.... You just have to ... you know, like this (Mother clenches her fists), refuse to budge. That’s all.
It’s not you.
I would rather not say that.... You know, I could say two things. One is that you truly have something to do, and it is in the process of crystallizing – you shouldn’t listen to the rubbish of people who don’t understand a thing. And the other is that there’s a whole part of your nature that was not your luminous nature (atavism, education, a lot of things), which is so much out of the way, so overcome that I thought it had vanished altogether. I was surprised when I was told it had come to bother you again. That’s ... that’s not Satprem.
Yes, I know.
So cling to Satprem.
No, I prefer to cling to you!
Cling as much as you can – as much as you can.
One feels the Grace alone can do something like that.
There’s something I feel very deeply.... (silence) Words ... words (Mother shakes her head).... But to say it as simply as possible, I could say, “The Lord loves Satprem.” And that’s something profound, profound, profound.... The Lord loves Satprem. That’s all.
(Satprem puts his forehead on Mother’s knees)
May 27, 1971
(Extract from Satprem’s notebook)
May 29, 1971
(Mother receives Satprem nearly two hours late. Mother apologizes! The conversation starts with the Russian translation of “Supermanhood.” The translator is asking for 2,000 francs.)
I don’t know if I have the right to spend the money! There are nothing but rules, rules....
No, Mother.... And what do you have to say?
Oh, lies, lies, lies – everybody is lying, oh!... It’s horrible.
And then the government has taxed EVERYTHING. The price of the least thing has doubled.... People aren’t giving me money anymore, or they give much less, saying: our expenses have increased. And my expenses have more than doubled. So you see.
And lies everywhere, everywhere, everywhere ... it’s dreadful.
May 30, 1971
(Sujata’s visit to Mother)
Falsehood has become acute and terrible. It has to go, so it’s clinging. Since yesterday it’s become so terrible that no one can be trusted.
June 2, 1971
(Concerning Satprem’s difficulties)
I myself had felt that something in you, some part of the consciousness – a very external and superficial part – was pulling.
Yes, that’s right.
And I was wondering how come?...
When it came, I went on saying: things are guided, therefore this has a reason and I have something to learn. But I see this thing is really untransformable.
It must be rejected from the nature. You see, it’s something that has to be transformed from life to life – it must be eliminated from your personality.
(Satprem puts his head on Mother’s knees,
Mother bends down to kiss him)
I’ve suffered a lot.... May I be capable of serving you, Mother.
It’s a part of the past that must disappear, and it clings on desperately – in a different form in each person.
within, gasping for breath,
To want only what God wants.
(Then Mother closes
her eyes and smiles,
To cling to the Divine like this (clenched fists). To cling ... (Mother has tears in her eyes, she gasps) ... so that the Divine alone carries us. That’s all.
(Mother tries to speak half in trance)
... All, we must be all aspiration, intense, intense and constant....
June 3, 1971
Tell Satprem that whatever the circumstances, he must go down very, very deep into his heart: “Lord, what You want, Lord, what You want.” No questioning, no asking why – this (forehead) silent, and here (heart) remaining steadfastly like this (gesture of clenched fists) with an intense prayer: Lord, what You want, what You want....
June 5, 1971
All circumstances have been furiously teaching the body to ... call all the time, all the time – to call the Divine. And so now it’s got into the habit of repeating its mantra, and it repeats it ALL THE TIME. It’s a curious thing: if it repeats it, everything runs smoothly; if it doesn’t, it can’t even swallow food – everything seems on the verge of falling apart; so it repeats its mantra, and everything goes quite well. When it thinks of nothing but the Divine, everything is fine. This morning, while I was having breakfast, that’s how it was. It was so plain! If the body thinks about eating, everything goes wrong; if it repeats its mantra, it can absorb the food, it doesn’t even notice it, everything becomes so easy. Very interesting.... The same goes for people: when they’re here, if I think about them, if I think there are difficulties, then ... (grating gesture), but if I am like this (peaceful gesture, immovable in the Lord), everything goes well, quite naturally.
It’s a lesson, but a relentless one.
And it has some old remnants of atavism. There’s (Mother laughs) a sort of fear – an altogether childish fear: “If I think of the Divine, there are going to be difficulties to be overcome”; that’s how it is in the cells (not everywhere, there’s very little of it, like some old remnants of something dragging over from previous lives), so then I laugh. The body asks but one thing, to melt into the Divine, to be nothing but That, to cease to exist separately – then all is well. It’s very interesting. It’s really the sadhana of the body, and in quite a compelling way – absolutely compelling. And when it leaves That, it feels it’s going to disintegrate the very next minute – that it is the only thing that keeps it together; without That, it doesn’t exist anymore.
That became quite concrete today.
Humanity has a dread (it must have been necessary at one time, some thousands of years ago, I don’t know), a dread of the Divine. The human animal. For him, it is equivalent to disappearing. And in effect it is the disappearance of the ego. And the disappearance of that [physical] ego ... for a long time one has had the impression that if the ego disappears, the being disappears, the form disappears – but that’s not true! It isn’t true. In any case, it has become ready [Mother’s body] to live without an ego.... The trouble is that life’s ordinary laws no longer hold. Which means all the old habit, plus the new thing to be learned.
It’s as if the cells – not the body’s cells: the organization that makes up the form (that holds everything together and makes up a form, a form we call human), it’s as if that had to learn it can go on living without the sense of separate individuality. Curious. Without the sense of ego. While for thousands of years it’s been accustomed to existing separately only because of the ego – without ego it goes on ... according to another law the body doesn’t yet know, and which ... it finds incomprehensible. It has nothing to do with a will, it’s not ... I don’t know ... a something ... a way of being. But then, billions of ways of being.
It has to learn to be a certain way of being.
June 9, 1971
(First Mother informs Satprem that the article on “Sri Aurobindo and Bangladesh” has been translated into Hindi and sent to Delhi.)
There’s an onslaught of adverse forces. A ferocious onslaught. But the Response is beginning to come – just a very small beginning. In each person there was like a storm, and it’s not completely over. Everything you thought was conquered and pushed away is rushing back – in the most unexpected persons – under every guise, but mainly in the character, oh!... doubts, revolts, everything....
I was asked for a message for all of India [in connection with the Bangladesh crisis]. I gave one.
(Mother hands the text)
There’s a dreadful onslaught of Falsehood. It was as if everyone were lying, even the most unexpected persons – everywhere, but everywhere. And to me it was vivid (Mother makes a gesture of seeing it), oh, horrible! You can’t imagine.... This, a little twisted to the right; that, a little twisted to the left, just a little twisted – nothing, not a thing was straight. Then the body asked, “And where is your own falsehood?” It took a look at itself. And it was that old story: “You must call the Lord only when it’s important!... (Laughing) You can’t expect to be with Him all the time!” So it got a good slap.
It wasn’t aggressive, it had the appearance of humility – it got a good cuff.
There was a battering of unpleasant things – more than unpleasant: really, but really mean and nasty and destructive. A battering, until the body understood. Then this feeling came into the whole body, in all the cells, everywhere, all the time (it came to such a pitch that I could barely swallow food), until everything, all-all understood: “I exist only by the Divine, I can go on living only by the Divine ... and I can be myself only by being the Divine.” After that, it was better. Now the body has understood.
You have nothing to ask, nothing to say?
I feel a bad destiny hangs over me.
No, that’s not true! It’s part of the Falsehood, that’s the Falsehood – it’s part of the Falsehood. I had seen that, I have seen it; I have tried to remove it, I haven’t succeeded.... There is no bad destiny, that’s humbug! A downright lie. It isn’t true – it isn’t at all true, not at all, at all.
Here, that’s just a perfect example for you: it’s exactly like that – it’s likewise everywhere (Mother makes a gesture with claws). I can almost see mean little devils with claws trying to hook onto each and everyone.
That’s not true. It’s not true, on the contrary! Quite the contrary, the course I saw [for you] recently is an increasingly beneficial influence over people through your writing, and something – I told you about it – which is spreading and is going to have an action everywhere. But of course the devil doesn’t like that, so he tries ... (gesture of claws). Ah, you should look straight at him and laugh – stick your tongue out at him like a naughty boy.
Well, in any case, one is assailed.
Oh, but I tell you, it’s a massive onslaught – but it doesn’t matter. We must rise above it, and then ... (gesture of looking from above).
What I said is the Truth, and the ONLY remedy:
to exist only for
There you are.
There isn’t any “you,” there isn’t any “we must be patient,” there isn’t any “it will come in its own time,” there isn’t any ... of all those very reasonable things, they don’t exist anymore – it’s That (Mother lowers her fist sharply), like a sword-blade. It’s That. And it’s That DESPITE EVERYTHING: the Divine. The Divine alone. All that hodgepodge of bad will and revolt and ... all that (Mother raises an unalterable finger) has to be swept away.
And that which says that we will perish or be destroyed by That is the ego – it is Mr. Ego trying to pass himself off as the true being.
But the body has learned that even without ego it is what it is, because it is that by the Divine Will and not at all by the ego – we exist by the Divine Will and not by the ego. The ego was a means – a centuries-old means. Centuries old. Now, it’s worthless, it’s time is over. It had its time, it had its usefulness – it’s over, it’s past, it’s way past. Now ... (Mother lowers her fist sharply): consciousness is the Divine; power is the Divine; action is the Divine; individuality is the Divine.
And the body has understood, sensed very well; it has realized and understood, as they say in English, that the sense of being a separate personality is PERFECTLY useless, perfectly useless, it is not in the least indispensable to its existence, it’s perfectly useless. It exists by another power and another will, which is not individual, not personal: the Divine Will. And it will become what it is supposed to be the day it feels there is no difference between itself and the Divine. That’s all.
All the rest is falsehood – false, false, false, and a falsehood that must disappear. There is only ONE reality, there is only ONE life, there is only ONE consciousness (Mother lowers her fist sharply): the Divine.
(Mother looks at
Satprem with great intensity,
June 12, 1971
(First, Mother gives Satprem a few copies of the Swedish translation of the introduction to “Supermanhood,” then Satprem reads several extracts from Sri Aurobindo for the next Bulletin.)
“Every sadhak has by nature certain characteristics which are a great obstacle on the way of the sadhana; these remain with obstinacy and can only be overcome after a very long time by an action of the Divine from within. Your mistake is not to have these defects, others have defects of anger, jealousy, envy, etc. very strongly and not only have them within but show them very openly – but to accept it as a reason for despair and the wish to go away from here. There is absolutely no meaning in going away, for nothing would be gained by it. One does not escape from what is within oneself by changing place; it follows and reproduces itself under other circumstances and among other surroundings. To go away and die does not solve anything either; for one’s being and nature do not end with death, they continue. The only way to get rid of them is here. Here, if you remain, a time is sure to come when these things will go out of you. The suffering it causes cannot cease by going out – it can only cease by the inner cause being removed or else by your drawing back from them and realising your true self which even if they rise would not be troubled by them and would refuse to regard them as part of itself – this liberation too can only come here by sadhana.”
May 24, 1937
That’s marvelous! There are so many people to whom that could be said.
* * *
“This kind of condition which is between two things one of which is being left but will not let go its hold and the other is almost or near to be grasped but cannot be brought into action, always comes at a certain stage in the transition between the ordinary consciousness and the Yogic consciousness. It is obviously very troublesome. One has to keep a firm mind as much as possible. There are two ways of dealing with it. One is to sit quiet with a silent will to get rapidly through to the true thing and allow the Force to work out the difficulty. The other is effort, but this effort too must be a quiet effort, – if it is a struggling or over eager effort, it may increase the struggle and restlessness in the mind or body. The best way is to keep quiet, observe, will for the change in reliance on the working of the Force, but also to use a quiet effort whenever that is possible. If one does that, after a time one finds a quiet action becoming habitual which whenever the outer force comes to pull the mind out, repels it automatically and maintains the poise of the consciousness.”
January 19, 1937
* * *
“There is a certain truth in what you say about the empty cup – a certain emptying of the consciousness of old things is necessary before anything positive can settle itself. It is what is happening in your physical consciousness, the old movements are being emptied out and you fall quiet, but they press in again and the cup has to be repeatedly emptied. If there is a firm and persistent rejection, then this repeated return of the old movements will cease to be so persistent; the periods of quiet can be established and permanent.
It is not however a fact that the whole nature has to be emptied of the old things before there can be the Light and Grace. It is done usually in different parts of the nature at different times. You had your former experiences because the mind and higher vital were sufficiently emptied and quiet to receive some experiences of a new consciousness. Now it is the physical mind, physical vital and body that have to be emptied – these always take longer than the others because the physical is more full of old habits, more slow to receive anything new or to change. But by the detachment and steady rejection and reliance on the Mother’s force, this obstinacy can be overcome and the cup emptied for filling with the Divine Light.”
January 15, 1937
* * *
“As for sadhana, it is not that you have no capacity, but what has happened to many has happened to you – the physical consciousness has risen up and veiled the psychic which was about to come forward. It has risen up with the insistence on the value of its own small ignorant ideas and feelings and refusing to let them go. When the psychic comes forward, all larger and more enlightened movements replace them. But usually before that happens, these things rise up and control the consciousness for a while. This state need not be a permanent condition and if one sees clearly and rejects them consciously, then it can be got over quickly – but even if it lasts a long period, it can in the end be overcome and that is happening to many now. Naturally, the physical consciousness persuades the mind that it is everlasting and cannot be got over; but that is not true.”
May 21, 1937
That’s good! It seems just the right moment to say it.
June 16, 1971
(Satprem suggest several extracts from the Agenda for “Notes on the Way,” the first being that of May 22 on the intervention of the Supreme Wisdom: “The possibility of a breathtaking success – not in the sky: here.”)
That’s quite good. It brings back the atmosphere.... Is it too soon to say it? I don’t know.
Yes, perhaps, I had a little the same feeling also.
Yes, it’s too soon. We should wait.
It’s for the August Bulletin.
Yes, but August is very soon.... I don’t know. We’ll see next month whether we send it out or not, or keep it. At any rate, we will use it one day. It seems ... I seem to be going too fast.
Yes, it does seem far-off.
Perhaps I don’t have enough faith, that’s possible!
I remember now (reading it brought back the atmosphere), I remember the state I was in.... I was ahead.
* * *
(Then Satprem suggests some extracts from the conversation of June 9 on the “onslaught of Falsehood” and in particular the passage on the dissolution of the ego.)
It’s quite a current truth [the onslaught].
Oh, that [the dissolution of the ego] is perfect; that should be published, it’s my everyday experience, every minute, all the time.... That should be published now.
You know, it’s my experience every minute, for every single thing, constantly: for rest, for activity, for food, for everything, for action with people, for everything, everything; it’s a kind of ... I could almost say a possession by the Divine. And my body senses that it exists only like this (fists clenched, clinging to the Divine): without That, there is nothing. Ah, the experience is constant and total!
(Mother goes within)
It’s interesting: EVERYTHING is useful – everything is useful, everything is necessary, in its place in time and space (it’s something that is neither time nor space: in the Manifestation, we could say), and it becomes falsehood when it tries to last after its time is over. So what is needed is to be able to be within the Movement – the Movement of eternal Unfolding – where things ... become truer and truer. For in the total and eternal Movement, all things become truer and truer.
(Mother goes back within)
(Mother goes within)
June 23, 1971
(Mother listens to the reading of various letters of Sri Aurobindo for the next Bulletin and selects this one:)
“What your vital being seems to have kept all along is the ‘bargain’ or the ‘mess’ attitude in these matters. One gives some kind of commodity which he calls devotion or surrender and in return the Mother is under obligation to supply satisfaction for all demands and desires spiritual, mental, vital and physical, and, if she falls short in her task, she has broken her contract. The Ashram is a sort of communal hotel or mess, the Mother is the hotel-keeper or mess-manager. One gives what one can or chooses to give, or it may be nothing at all except the aforesaid commodity; in return the palate, the stomach and all the physical demands have to be satisfied to the full; if not, one has every right to keep one’s money and to abuse the defaulting hotel-keeper or mess-manager. This attitude has nothing whatever to do with Sadhana or Yoga and I absolutely repudiate the right of anyone to impose it as a basis for my work or for the life of the Ashram.
There are only two possible foundations for the material life here. One is that one is a member of an Ashram founded on the principle of self-giving and surrender. One belongs to the Divine and all one has belongs to the Divine; in giving one gives not what is one’s own but what already belongs to the Divine. There is no question of payment or return, no bargain, no room for demand and desire. The Mother is in sole charge and arranges things as best they can be arranged within the means at her disposal and the capacities of her instruments. She is under no obligation to act according to the mental standards or vital desires and claims of the Sadhaks; she is not obliged to use a democratic equality in her dealings with them. She is free to deal with each according to what she sees to be his true need or what is best for him in his spiritual progress. No one can be her judge or impose on her his own rule and standard; she alone can make rules, and she can depart from them too if she thinks fit, but no one can demand that she shall do so. Personal demands and desires cannot be imposed on her. If anyone has what he finds to be a real need or a suggestion to make which is within the province assigned to him, he can do so; but if she gives no sanction, he must remain satisfied and drop the matter. This is the spiritual discipline of which the one who represents or embodies the Divine Truth is the centre. Either she is that and all this is the plain common sense of the matter; or she is not and then no one need stay here. Each can go his own way and there is no Ashram and no Yoga.”
April 11, 1930
It’s going to give a rather unflattering picture of the Ashram.... But it’s true, terribly true. You could say it’s just what is happening now! It could have been written now.
What do you think about it [for publication]?
I don’t think anything.
What do you feel?... But you’re going to tell me you don’t feel anything!... Personally, if this (pointing to the body) weren’t what people call “the Mother,” if it weren’t me, I would say yes. It’s exactly what is needed.
Then it should be published.
I don’t want to look as if I were defending myself!
But you’re not! And what does it matter anyway.
All right, I prefer it that way.
Let’s just publish it. The other quotations give a slightly dark picture of the Ashram, especially when put together.
Yes, just one.
He left twenty years ago – he left in ’50, twenty-two, twenty-three years ago.
But it went on all the same.
(Mother goes within)
Your article [on Bangladesh] seems to have had a lot of effect – a lot. There’s a complete reversal. They’re now expecting war.
But do you know that the Americans are sending arms to Pakistan?
I’ve heard it. They say it is not the American government.
Yes, that’s easy to say!
But the American manufacturers.
It’s easy, they can say anything they like.
They’re expecting war here in about a week.
But the Indians won’t move unless they get hit on the head!
But it’s the Indian government that said it – they’re getting ready for it. They weren’t ready [in March].
How odd. They weren’t ready a month ago, and now they’re suddenly ready!
(Mother nods her head) I have received news from people who organized the troops, and they’re ready to enter Pakistan tomorrow, if they’re told to.
If they’re told to.
If they’re told to.
As a matter of fact a minister has gone to various countries to tell them they intended to make war.
And, I believe, he’s coming back today or tomorrow with the reactions. And then we’ll see. It’s a matter of days. I have the latest news from the government – it’s the government that sent me the news.
What they say is always worse – worse or better – than what actually is. That’s the last I’ve heard.
In any case, they informed me officially.
You see, there are also the refugees – the refugees cost more than the war.
But of course!
So they’ve woken up, they’ve finally understood.
They’ve finally understood! How dense!
And so they want to send all those people back home with troops to protect them.
You don’t have anything?
I have some news from P.L. You know he had submitted the book “On the Way to Supermanhood” at the same time as “The Sannyasin” to Flammarion, a publisher in Paris. And they refused them.
Oh, they refused them!
Do you want me to read you what they said?
Paris, June 14, 1971
“Thank you for submitting the two manuscripts by Sri Satprem, ‘By the Body of the Earth’ [The Sannyasin] and ‘On the Way to Supermanhood.’
Unfortunately, in both cases, our readers felt that Sri Satprem had not succeeded in laying the foundations of his beliefs, ultimately rather vague, or at any rate not easy to convey. As for the style, it only very rarely injects life into those inexpressible and often suspect things. It is principally the lacunae which persuaded us that we cannot consider publication.”
What do they mean?
Well, it means first that I didn’t succeed in giving a solid basis for my beliefs, which are rather vague....
Well, of course!
And as for the style, only very rarely does it bring to life those so-called inexpressible things, which are suspect. That’s what it means.
What does it mean?
It means those so-called inexpressible things are suspect, they don’t ring true – they sound like deceptions or distortions or imaginations or I don’t know what. .
And what about those 3,000 copies [of Supermanhood], what are we going to do with them?
I have no idea.
Are we going to ship them there anyway?
But ship them to whom, where?
To the distributor whom A. saw.
But he’s taking only 200!
He’s taking 200 of them and it’s going to take him two or three years to sell just those.
If it’s not handled by a publisher, there’s no publicity, and if there’s no publicity, there’s no sale. It’s that simple.
(Mother goes within for a long time)
There must be a man. I feel there is certainly a publisher who would be happy to take it. But I no longer know....
Isn’t this a sign that my work is over?
What are you talking about!
(Mother goes within)
No, I see a great success for the book, I see it, it’s concrete.... There is a publisher who will be happy to take it, but I don’t know the names.
It’s clear to me, only it’s ahead, in the future.
Is there a way to get the names of all the publishers in France?
Yes, there’s a way. Do you want me to make a list for you?
Yes, make me a list. I’ll see if the Light shines on one of them. I see.... I see.... They gave it to some old fellow to read, you see – I don’t mean old in age, I mean old in intelligence.
But they’re all like that!
No, all are not like that. But some just don’t care a hoot about it – he’s one of them.
Perhaps someone who doesn’t have a lot of money and would be only too happy to have our printed books – he would only have to put on his own jacket.
I feel very strongly, you know.
I’ll bring you a list, then.
No, it’s not at all blocked; on the contrary, it goes very far ahead – it’s not blocked at all, it goes very far, a matter of about ten years. In ten years it will be strong. I see it.
June 26, 1971
It seems war is inevitable.
They’re expecting it to break out any day.... America has sent shiploads of arms to Pakistan; so before declaring war, the Indian government wants to ask America to stop their shipments to Pakistan and recall the ships on the high seas.
They’re waiting for that, and when that is settled, they’ll declare war. I am informed almost directly.
But you yourself, what do you see?
(Mother goes within)
It’s very mixed. I mean the Forces on one side and the Opposition on the other are not clear-cut – it’s not like that. Pakistan is fully in falsehood, but even there.... It’s mixed, very mixed.
The Force is clearly working in favor of India, that I see, but.... What did you mean?
I meant that India too is as much in the falsehood as Pakistan.
But of course! That’s just the trouble. Not so much.
Not so much, no.
Not so much.
Indira has just ... (this will give you an idea), Indira has sent me word through J., the governor, to tell me that if I have something to tell her I can do it through the governor, in a double envelope, because some people [from the Ashram] are telling her lies in my name, so ... she’s starting to be on her guard.
It’s a mess, you know.
They’re terribly afraid of famine.
And we can barely contain that invasion. We must be very, very, very careful.
(Mother goes within)
You have nothing to ask?
I have the feeling I’m in the midst of a complete demolition.
(Mother goes within for a long time)
I have nothing to say.
(Mother goes back
(Sujata:) Mother, when you look within the way you are now, what do you see?
(after a silence)
It’s extremely mixed. Precisely the sensation that there isn’t a clear-cut delineation between truth on one side and falsehood on the other, that it’s all a mishmash.
I have the feeling that things are held like this (gesture of being immobilized under pressure): it is willed that Sri Aurobindo’s Centenary takes place – if there were a war, it would be difficult. In Delhi, they were thinking the war would break out within a week – they had said that, again yesterday they told me it’s imminent. And at the same time there is something which goes like this (same gesture of immobilizing pressure) to keep things in this uncertain state so that Sri Aurobindo’s Centenary may have its full development – so I see that mixture of things. The feeling is that the Centenary is the major event, while at the same time the outer consciousness says that if there is war, it will be the end of the Centenary. There you are, that’s how it is. So I don’t see anything precise because things are like that, all intertwined.... If I see something clearly, naturally I’ll say so, but now I don’t. It’s mixed up, all mixed up – completely mixed up. And there is an insistence on us, a pressure on us to be primarily concerned with the Centenary, for that to be our primary preoccupation; not to take current events too much into account, you know. That’s what I see – not so interesting! (Mother laughs)
(Sujata:) But Mother, shouldn’t the problem of India and Pakistan in fact be settled for the Centenary?
That’s what I was hoping for.
(Sujata:) Yes, Mother.
But nothing stands out. It would be marvelous, but....
Although to tell the truth, I am more and more absorbed with being a completely limpid transmitter than with knowing – I don’t care about knowing: just being as limpid as possible so that, at least in one place, That may manifest without too much opposition. That’s all.
We must be patient.
Not be anxious to know. One must be more eager to be an unobstructing intermediary than to know – you understand? It’s more important to keep the atmosphere as limpid and transparent as possible, more important than to know in advance what’s going to happen. That’s my position.
June 30, 1971
There’s a dreadful confusion, everyone is quarreling.... Before, at least, Indira and N.S. got along with one another, but now.... Indira has sent word through the governor that if I had something to tell her, I should do so through him – I have nothing to say.
We’re receiving letters from all over with the “true knowledge” of what should be done according to Sri Aurobindo, and.... There’s such a mixture, things are all scrambled, oh!...
It is Falsehood putting a mantle of truth in order to appear credible.
The two of them don’t get along anymore because Indira says that I told her one thing, while N.S. says, “No, Mother said that.” That’s where we are.
Well, you should say exactly what you said!
Yes, but each interprets it in her own way!...
On the one hand, they say that the war is imminent; on the other hand, war is useless – all that supported by what I am supposed to have said.
Why couldn’t you have Indira read my article [on Bangladesh]?
But I believe somebody had her read it.
That would very much surprise me.... Have it sent through J. [the governor]!
(after a silence, Mother shakes her head)
They’ve missed the moment. They’ve lost the chance.
Yes, that’s what I think too.
Can you imagine that along with the refugees, some Pakistanis have entered India, and they have poisoned wells and rivers. Some of them were caught in the act. It’s dreadful....
But they get exactly what they deserve! They want to be like holy little saints, and not interfere nor do anything. So, it results in millions of refugees, their wells get poisoned and everything gets worse. They are shrinking from making war, you see!
(Mother goes within for a long time)
Parliament seems to be in favor of war – Parliament wants war, but it’s the government that doesn’t want.
(Mother goes back within)
But the disease is infecting the whole world. There’s an American who had come here and she was supposed to come back; she was stabbed at night on her way home – in New York. It seems that you can’t go out at night in New York, unless there are three or four people together.... The world has gone mad – everywhere.
July 3, 1971
You know, it’s as if the two extremes – a marvelous state and a general decomposition – were here like this (gesture of being inextricably intertwined). Everything, but everything is falling apart: people you count on give way, it seems there’s a general dishonesty spreading, people getting sick all the time.... As difficulties go, there have NEVER been so many, never, and compounded: big difficulties with ruinous ones. But at the same time, for ... a flash (it comes for a few minutes, then it goes away), there is a ... marvelous state (the body feels it), unimaginable, you know, like the extreme opposite. As if it wanted to take over – but the other fights back fiercely. And so, all circumstances are like that, all the people are like that, from the government on down to the people here. And then that marvelous state: it comes into my body for a few minutes, then it goes away.
It’s so ... horrible, you know – just everyone, all the people you count on, everything, all, all is falling to pieces; so much so that the consciousness wonders: “But what is this hell, this is no life!” And then, at another moment – but for a few minutes only – there’s such a marvelous state that it’s unimaginable. There you are. That’s what I’ve been living since ... night and day without letup.
This morning for a few minutes it was absolutely marvelous, but the rest of the time it’s infernal. There you are, you see, that’s life for you. Everything, all, all seems to be falling apart, the people you count on give way, but at the same time, all of a sudden.... It’s 90 percent like that, but the 10 percent is so marvelous that it’s unimaginable. That’s how things are.
And all the ideas of personal will or of a certain attitude to take are.... Night and day, ceaselessly, whatever the difficulties, my body simply says, “My God, let Your Will be done.” The body’s attitude is steadfast: it is completely like this (hands open in offering). And the sense of its own powerlessness ... no: for as much as the sense of self is left (it’s not much, not much is left), but the little that is left is so powerless, so impotent, so ignorant ... ignorant! Frightfully ignorant of everything. It’s something.... One wonders why, what’s the reason for this (Mother touches her body). And then ... (gesture of a marvelous flash). That’s how it is.
And the other side doesn’t create any problems. It’s ... as if you were absolutely sick, a total mess, and all of a sudden you’re marvelously well, strong. And it comes very naturally, without any fuss. It remains there, and then pfft!
All our reasoning, all our ... : in pieces – no longer worth anything.
And all the people needed to operate the organization, all the persons you count on, ploff! they fall through.
You see, it’s got to the point that eating is becoming a problem, sleeping is becoming a problem, speaking is becoming a problem – everything is a problem – but then at the same time ... it gets done, one doesn’t know how: things fall into place, and one eats, one rests.... For instance, I am lying down, I am so uncomfortable that I think, “It’s impossible, I can’t stay here,” and then all of a sudden, poff! nothing anymore: a marvelous repose. And there is no more body, no more problem, nothing. And then without knowing the why or the how, suddenly the difficulties are back. And it’s like that, all of life is like that.
So people come and tell me, “I have this problem, that problem....” “Look,” I tell them (exasperated tone), “no wonder the whole world is like that!” It can perish for all I care ... it would be a relief. There you are. But then ... (gesture of a marvelous flash). Three minutes of splendor for twelve hours of misery. That’s the ratio. And for a body that truly, sincerely ... thinks only of the Divine, wants only the Divine. But it is utterly conscious of its incapacity.
You know, it’s like a live demonstration of the existence of the Divine and what the Divine existence is – an absolute existence and what it is – and then what it has become.
I don’t hear, I don’t see, I can’t eat, I can’t speak – all that seemingly deteriorated – I don’t understand, I no longer remember; and at the same time, all of a sudden, the sense of ... a sovereign omnipotence in ... something ... a bliss that has no equivalent in our world. That’s how it is. And that’s simply as if to tell me, “Yes, it’s true: that’s IT; that’s what we want and that’s what will have to be....” But when?... That’s all.
And so it makes you ... (everyone is complaining, everyone is moaning, everyone is talking about his troubles), it makes you indifferent and you say, “Well, what would you, the world is like that!”
The world is “like that,” but it isn’t true! It is NOT like that – it’s like that for our consciousness.... For a while this morning, I wondered, “What is it like in the consciousness of wild animals?...” And I saw that the consciousness capable of seeing the whole doesn’t exist for animals, they don’t have it – they live from day to day and minute to minute whatever happens to them. That’s all. I understand that, I saw, it’s the ... (gesture to the forehead indicating that the mind spoils everything).
In short, it’s becoming very, very critical: how far the world is from what it should be. Usually people say there’s a mixture of good and bad things; but all that is childish – the good things aren’t any better than the bad ones. That’s not IT. The Divine is something else.
(Mother goes within)
And what have you brought?
I would like to know one thing. I would like to know if I still have a work to do.
Oh, nonsense! That’s part of the adverse forces. When it comes, you just have to say, “Well, fine, I am just listening to the Falsehood....” You have a whole life of realization ahead of you!
I mean something to create.
But, of course – of course!
Whenever there is a defeatist suggestion – whether it’s a sensation, a thought or anything else – you can be sure it’s the devil.
But it’s not a defeatist sensation, it’s that in actuality EVERYTHING IS DECOMPOSING.
But, exactly! That’s it. That’s what I call a defeatist sensation.
It isn’t a sensation but a fact.
But, of course, that’s what I’ve just told you: everything is falling apart – everything and everybody. It’s a fact – well, that fact is there to tell us, “This is what must cease to be.” For the ordinary human consciousness, that’s the reality – well, it’s not true, that’s all. We just have to tell ourselves it’s not true.
I mean, for example, what I have written is no longer a living reality for me.
Yes, exactly.... That’s because you’re moving on to the other side, like me. That’s all.
Nothing has any reality.
Nothing, it’s true.
Nothing, but nothing.
You may say “The Divine” or “This” or ... – nothing has any reality for me.
Excuse me! I am telling you (and I insist): for me, the Divine has become as concrete – more concrete and more compelling – than.... Only, we are not capable of feeling Him: one minute, a few minutes all of a sudden, and then, prrt!
Haven’t you suddenly felt...?
I feel the Force.
Yes, that’s it.
It’s the only thing that has any reality.
Because otherwise all the rest seems to me like a fabrication of the higher mind.
Yes, that’s right.
One can at will imagine or think one is immersed in some immense consciousness, but then there is nothing at all, nothing nothing at all.
Yes, exactly. It’s another way of saying what I am saying.
But suddenly ... all of a sudden there’s the Force ... a Force – we call it “force” because ... we don’t know what it is – an almighty Force. But fleeting: it comes, it vanishes.
But my body has the experience, my body knows that does not go away; it knows it is incapable of feeling it, but it knows it doesn’t go away.
For me it’s like the bankruptcy of the whole teaching. The whole teaching seems like a fabrication of the higher mind and nothing more – something that has no concrete reality.
I feel I don’t want this anymore. It’s as if the mind didn’t want ANY of it anymore.
It’s the Mind we don’t want anymore – it should just keep silent and not interfere.
Yes, but at the same time it’s also a support – at least it WAS a support. I used to rely on it, it was a kind of basis in the background, a basis of experience in the background. Well, that basis seems to be gone.
Yes, but there is another one that ... another one I’ve just mentioned ... and that one ... mon petit, is beyond dream. The ordinary consciousness can’t imagine what it is. There are moments so marvelous ... that the rest seems even worse.
(Mother goes within)
July 10, 1971
(Concerning a few words of Mother’s noted from memory by a disciple.)
“The harmonious moments in life are not a reward granted by the Divine. If life were normally what it should be, everything would always be harmonious....”
Yes, when it’s harmonious we think, “The Divine is happy with me”! That’s what people think, but it’s not true: it is the NORMAL state.
“... It is because of our imperfections that it’s not; when the imperfections disappear, the difficulties disappear at the same time.”
* * *
A little later
The experience in the body is very interesting. All so-called moral, intellectual, psychological suffering, in other words, the suffering of the consciousness that is not purely material, seems childish to the body. Yesterday, it had ... (what shall I say? I don’t know how to explain it). It doesn’t feel things in relation to itself, it feels things ... (silence) IN others, but with a general consciousness, not a personal one; and it has such a horror of physical suffering, that is to say illnesses, accidents, that it wondered why, why the world exists like that. It then understood why some people don’t want to have a body anymore (that always seemed absurd before), it understood why. It was such an intense experience! It had an aspiration, something like a prayer, but it’s not a prayer: “May the world change! May the world change. It HAS to change – or else disappear.” The idea of disappearing had not come before, it seemed ... it used to think that the world was moving towards a harmonious perfection; but, you see, it’s long – the length of time is terrible! There was an aspiration of incredible intensity for the transformation. Everything looks so dreadful because ... because the transformation must, MUST take place. That anyone can be satisfied with a world like this is impossible – it’s impossible to a physical consciousness that is conscious of the Divine. It’s impossible, it absolutely has to change. And that was so vivid ... I was gripped by it all night and all day, even while seeing people, with such an intensity: it must change, it must change....
The being, the inner consciousness can say and be conscious that that suffering is unreal, but the physical consciousness can’t – it can’t, it HAS to change. It’s not a matter of merging with a consciousness, leaving this physical consciousness to disappear: it has to change, it has to change.... I can’t put it into words, I can’t say it.
Yes, yes, I understand.
It is so very conscious that in all the worlds, even the vital world, everything depends on the attitude, and if you are in contact with the Divine, everything is fine, there’s no problem, but this (Mother touches her body), this physical suffering – cancer and all those things – it’s so concrete: It HAS to change, it has to change. It can’t be considered something one must “see in a different way.” It actually must change. You understand what I mean?
In all the other domains, it depends on the attitude; here it doesn’t depend on the attitude – you may suffer more, suffer less, but.... The FACT has to change, you see. Because the world, the material world seen as it is, is a FRIGHTFUL thing.
You see, it is bearable due to the mental influence (vital and mental), but that influence is not enough, it has to be transformed.
Let me say it in a very down-to-earth way: for example, take a supramental being having the supramental consciousness, if his body gets cancer, it will remain cancer, you follow?... He may not feel anything, but only if he detaches himself from his body; whereas, for the transformation to be genuine, the body ALSO has to attain a harmony above – above all illnesses and accidents.
It is the only part. The other parts of the being can be transformed, can transform their consciousness while remaining what they are – but the physical body needs to change.
I don’t know whether it’s a passing experience or a final one – that I don’t know. We’ll see.
And yet with a supramental consciousness, it should be impossible to get cancer, for example.
Yes, but that means ... it means the material substance is transformed.
No, I meant simply the consciousness: if someone has the supramental consciousness, that consciousness should be able to protect the body sufficiently, shouldn’t it?
I don’t know, that was the whole point.
That just seems impossible to me. I can’t imagine someone having the Truth-Consciousness and being afflicted with a Falsehood.
If there is a falsehood in the body, it means there is falsehood in the consciousness.
I can’t imagine your getting cancer, for instance! That doesn’t seem possible to me.
It seems impossible to me.
Before, it was like that; before, I thought it was impossible. But I am not so sure anymore.
I don’t know.
Except if it came to you as an experience to be gone through or as something to be conquered for the earth.
But it could only be a transitory phenomenon for the work, it wouldn’t be something really striking your body. That doesn’t seem possible to me.
Yes, I too thought so.... It’s probably a necessary experience, a necessary phase.
You know, I always felt, always: if something isn’t right, it means that this something isn’t really turned to the Divine. And if everything is turned to the Divine, and obeys only the Divine, things will inevitably be harmonious. That was my conviction. But yesterday the experience came differently.
Probably it’s a necessary experience.
Yes, probably because your body is universal (at least terrestrial in any case), so it may come as a phenomenon for the work, for a moment – it can’t be a personal phenomenon of your body.
No, my body is less and less personal.
Yes, that just doesn’t seem possible to me, you know.
Probably a phase to be gone through.
Your body is equally in all sorts of people, so it can very well be in the body of a person who has cancer....
Yes, it’s probably to give it the required intensity of consecration.
It was not afraid or anxious, or anything, it was.... It was like an experience (I don’t know how to put it), but it’s probably a question of words.... Along with the transformation, the impossibility of certain disorders should come automatically.
(Mother goes within for a long time)
We are just at the most difficult period.
Because it’s no longer this, and it’s not yet that.
And the body has strange experiences: for a few minutes all of a sudden, it feels that the solidity of matter is an illusion and that it may.... Here, I’ll give you a very practical example: something inside, an inflammation somewhere, for instance; well, as long as I am in the ordinary physical consciousness, it’s there, it’s concrete and it hurts, but there is a consciousness in which it no longer exists – physically. If you know (what shall I say?) ... to put it simply: to approach the Divine in the right way, to enter into contact with the Divine in the right way, in the right manner – it starts up again afterwards as before.
(Mother turns around) Is he here?
Pranab is here.
Ah! Au revoir!...
July 14, 1971
My cold hangs on doggedly, it won’t leave me....
So, what have you brought?
A question asked by Z. She has a friend in Calcutta who wrote her about the clandestine guerilla organization in Bangladesh. He told her that they need money for the training of the guerillas, for arms, clothing and other requisites, and he is asking her to write her friends in Switzerland, France, Germany, etc., to raise money. But she is wondering if she should do it. She doesn’t want to do anything without your permission.
She can do it, only she shouldn’t mention my name. I am not asking for anything. You see, if she asks, and then by chance.... She can do it in her own name, as a charitable work, but I should not appear, I am not asking for anything.
It puts me in a difficult situation.... It’s very difficult.
People tell me everything has doubled, we are sorrily poor, we can’t give you anything. Everything has doubled for me too, and I am not receiving more money.
The situation has become very difficult.
My cold is hanging on, doesn’t want to go away.
What caused it?
For me, as I see it, it’s a mixture – a mixture of contagion I caught from people who came here and made me that gift, and at the same time certain things that want to change.... You can’t imagine the formations (gesture around herself), it’s incredible – the formations that are whirling around me, stirring up....
I’ve found some letters by Sri Aurobindo (letters he sent me) in which he describes the current situation – you would think it’s now!
Some adverse formations?
Yes, of course! Everything that ought to disappear but hangs on desperately.
For me, all those formations (more than catastrophic, mind you), for me they’re nothing, they are totally irrelevant, but they do affect people, who go awry, and then.... All things considered, the repercussions on my body are really minimal.
The body sees plainly, very clearly, the marvelous protection it has, you know, it would otherwise be slashed to pieces.
(Mother goes into contemplation)
* * *
(Some passages from Sri Aurobindo’s letters to Mother in France.)
May 6, 1915
All is always for the best, but it is sometimes from the external point of view an awkward best....
The whole earth is now under one law and answers to the same vibrations and I am sceptical of finding any place where the clash of the struggle will not pursue us. In any case, an effective retirement does not seem to be my destiny. I must remain in touch with the world until I have either mastered adverse circumstances or succumbed or carried on the struggle between the spiritual and physical so far as I am destined to carry it on. This is how I have always seen things and still see them. As for failure, difficulty and apparent impossibility I am too much habituated to them to be much impressed by their constant self-presentation except for passing moments....
One needs to have a calm heart, a settled will, entire self-abnegation and the eyes constantly fixed on the beyond to live undiscouraged in times like these which are truly a period of universal decomposition. For myself, I follow the Voice and look neither to right nor to the left of me. The result is not mine and hardly at all now even the labour.
* * *
July 28, 1915
Everything internal is ripe or ripening, but there is a sort of locked struggle in which neither side can make a very appreciable advance (somewhat like the trench warfare in Europe), the spiritual force insisting against the resistance of the physical world, that resistance disputing every inch and making more or less effective counter-attacks.... And if there were not the strength and Ananda within, it would be harassing and disgusting work; but the eye of knowledge looks beyond and sees that it is only a protracted episode.
* * *
September 16, 1915
Nothing seems able to disturb the immobility of things and all that is active outside our own selves is a sort of welter of dark and sombre confusion from which nothing formed or luminous can emerge. It is a singular condition of the world, the very definition of chaos with the superficial form of the old world resting apparently intact on the surface. But a chaos of long disintegration or of some early new birth? It is the thing that is being fought out from day to day, but as yet without any approach to a decision.
On Himself, XXVI.424 sqq.
July 17, 1971
Day before yesterday I was almost cured, I thought it was over, but then yesterday there was an avalanche of things ... oh, bad will, quarrels and ... it was so dreadful that the cold started up again. That’s why it won’t go away. I see that when things quiet down here and I can get back into my normal atmosphere, it’s as if everything vanished – I don’t have a cold anymore, I am not in pain anymore. But back it comes from outside like a ferocious attack: people quarreling, squabbling, circumstances going awry, everything. And all that is thrown on me, so....
So it started up again last evening. It was over, you know: my nose and throat were clear, it was all gone. It really isn’t me, it comes from outside. It’s relentless. And naturally they all hold me responsible! I tell them one thing, they do another; I write them one thing, they twist it and make it into something else, and then afterwards, they say it’s my fault. That’s how it is. (Mother starts to cough)
In a way, it was like a demonstration – like a stage play, you know, showing how people behave with the Divine. It was really comical!
You may get angry and say, “How shameful!” – but it was comical. It was laughable: everything is the Divine’s fault! That’s how people are commonly: it’s the Divine who ill-uses them, the Divine who does not spare them, the Divine who arranges circumstances wrongly.... That’s how it is. They’re all like that.
And it’s a kind of half-conscious malice: you do this, they just do that (slight twist), they twist it a little, and everything becomes distorted; you say one thing, they add a word or take one out and it’s all distorted. Even what is written they read in their own way. It’s stunning.
And it’s on a large scale, you see, almost a world scale, at least a national one, in this country, but ... it has repercussions in China, Russia, Europe, America. They’ve made ... such a mess, you know, with this whole [Bangladesh] affair, it’s dreadful – dreadful. Now, they’ve found a solution: the Americans are trying to come to an agreement with the Chinese – that’s the last straw! – to help Pakistan massacre people.
Yes, one has the impression that America is doing the politics of the adverse forces. You’d say they’re working for the adverse forces....
Do you know that the President of the United States [Nixon] is going to China?
Yes, can you beat that!
And they’re not trying to make a rapprochement with the Russians, far from it.
No, of course not!
In other words, they’re doing everything just the reverse.
Did you bring something?
Yes, there’s your April message, which has to be translated into French for the Bulletin:
We are at one of these “Hours of God,” when the old bases get shaken ...
That’s exactly it.
... and there is a
great confusion; but it is a wonderful opportunity for those who want to leap
forward, the possibility of progress is exceptional.
April 1, 1971
* * *
Z wants to bring her children back here.
Yes, she told me you had told her to stay.
Oh!... No, that’s just appalling!... She said to me, “Could my children come back here?” That’s typically her. (And there’s also something she is not saying.) And so naturally at once I told her yes. I said, “If you like, you can stay.” She said, “Oh, I really would like to stay.”
It’s like this (gesture of twisting), everyone is that way.
Yes, everything is twisted.
(then the conversation moves on to the disciple in the Vatican)
Z says that P.L. did not behave well at all, that he is caught up in a world of money, power, women and ... I don’t know what – that he is completely under Monsignor R.’s thumb, you know, the one who is handling millions.
Yes, he was supposed to come here.
Yes, that’s right. P.L. is managing his affairs, those vast millions. In any event, Z reproaches him for being part of that world and she’s broken with him.
I must tell you that occultly I had seen that a lot of money could come here through P.L. So naturally I increased his rapport [with the Force]. And normally it should come.
Deep down his attitude has remained what it was.
Yes, Mother, that I’m sure of! Even if appearances are at present like that, I’m convinced that in fact he is doing your work, or he’s going to do it, or the ground is being prepared.
Yes, that’s it. Exactly. I feel he can do an enormous work.
I feel that too.
Only not openly.
There’s an onslaught of Falsehood. And you feel that only what is really true has the power to resist – a bit above the mind.
But that [Z’s words] gives you an example of how things are – it’s really a sort of derailment. Did she really say, “Mother asked me”?
Yes: “Mother told me to stay.”
She said “told” or....
She said, “Mother told me.” Well, anyway the way it is said means ... “Yes, Mother told me to stay,” as if it were an order or advice that you gave her.
Yes ... that’s it.
Oh, if you knew the experiences.... Just this kind of things [Z’s words], everywhere, everywhere, all the time, from everyone-everything, everything is like this (gesture of twisting) oh!... And so my body, the body, said, “But I am like that too!” It saw its.... Oh, my God ... (Mother clasps her hands together) I understood that if for a single minute the Supreme Consciousness had the kind of consciousness men have, the world would be dissolved. Quite spontaneously, our reaction, our spontaneous reaction to conflicts, to what seems bad to us, is: let’s dissolve the Falsehood. It’s a spontaneous reaction. Not transform – dissolve. You see, there’s a gulf between the two.
And it’s spontaneous, it’s the idea of doing away – doing away with the Falsehood. But if for a single second the Supreme Lord had that movement, there would be no more world!... And so I think the body has understood that. I think it understood, it was extraordinary.... What are we anyway! What are men! They think they’re, my God (Mother makes a gesture of puffing herself up), they think they’re ... oh!... For the slightest will, or a slight comprehension, or when they make a slight effort for perfection, oh! (same gesture) they think they’re, they think they’re just extraordinary! (Mother takes her head in her hands and laughs.)
Somewhere Sri Aurobindo wrote that when you touched the Divine Consciousness, it suddenly gave you the sense of ... how laughable the world is in its self-conceit – men’s self-conceit. But even (I’ve had contact with animals), even in animals it begins. Vanity, vanity, vanity, vanity....
Indeed, there’s really nothing to brag about.
That’s for sure.
Oh, no! – no, it’s not so much that they brag, but they are SELFCONCEITED.
You know, almost everywhere deception and attempts at deception are taken for goodwill. As for those who don’t seek to deceive anybody but only deceive themselves, they are already exceptional beings.
These aren’t discoveries, they are things I used to see; but you see them only occasionally, by way of exception, in one instance or another, whereas there I had the vision of the whole world, of the entire earth, of all human effort, of all peoples, all ... we live in a deception. It’s frightful!
And what’s more, we deceive ourselves more than we try to deceive others.
In short, we see NOTHING as it is.
Yes, yes.... Yes.
At night I go walking on dirt roads which collapse.
Yes, total collapse.
The old conceptions.
There’s only one salvation: to cling to the Divine like this (gesture with two fists).
Not clinging to what one thinks of the Divine, not even to what one feels of the Divine ... to an aspiration ... an aspiration as sincere as possible. And cling to that.
I am going to tell you something, because it’s interesting. Sometime ago, before Z came back, I suddenly saw that Z’s relationship with P.L. was preventing him from doing what he had to do. And so I really aspired for her to cease having an influence on him. (I had forgotten that, it was sometime before she came back, a rather long time before.)
Yes, I remember, you even told me about it.
You know, something I would have told you already is that now the body – the consciousness of the body – knows in advance what’s going to happen, it knows in advance what people are going to say. It doesn’t know it ... (how shall I put it?) exactly as it happens in reality, but rather the SPIRIT in which it’s done ... constantly. It’s perfectly strange. I am here immobile, trying to belong only to the Divine, and things come – they come like this (gesture as though on a screen in front of Mother), they come like this, things, events, people talking.... At first I thought it was my material consciousness, which did not know how to keep quiet, but then I realized it was coming to me from outside and was taking shape materially. Which means that now, if I were to mentalize those things, I could foresee events, tell what is going to happen, what’s going to come.... The story about America and China, and all sorts of similar things came in that way. In ordinary men, the mind takes advantage of it to make prophecies – but fortunately there isn’t any mind here, it’s quiet, it’s absent. Only, when I am told things, when I am informed of things, nothing surprises this body anymore, it seems to know. It’s strange.
A kind of universalization.
And if you knew how stupid the body feels – both things at the same time.
July 21, 1971
What do you have to say?
What about you?
Me? I still have a cold. I was cured, I was almost cured, but ... (gesture of an avalanche). But this isn’t interesting.
What’s interesting is that the body is becoming more and more conscious, but conscious in a very interesting way.
That would mean mentalizing. I can’t.
I am beginning to know what’s going to happen, what people are going to tell me, all that. How can I explain it?... It’s as if I had BECOME the circumstances, the people, the words, the....
The body is more and more conscious, but not at all mentally – like ... like things actually lived. I don’t know how to say it. It’s hard to explain.... It’s sensing or having the ... (I don’t know how to explain exactly what it is) how, in the manifestation, the human consciousness distorts the Divine Action (gesture of direct flow). It’s our constitution which is so pitiable. We reduce, distort, diminish EVERYTHING – everything. We know things (Knowledge is there all around us, in us), but we are so complicated that we distort it. Everyone is that way.... So then, this is a kind of very accurate sensation of everything that is organized by the inner Divine from within, and at the same time how it gets distorted as it surfaces (words are silly, and yet that’s the closest I can come). It’s our silly way of saying something that is ... so simple and so marvelous!... But we are so perverted that we always choose what is distorted.
I don’t know, even my words distort the thing, but it’s ... it’s something I feel is so simple, so luminous, so pure – so absolute. And then, we make of it what we can see around us: a complicated and almost incomprehensible life.
But what about you, don’t you have any news?
I’m in a phase I don’t understand very well.
Ah!... Well, tell me, that way we can find out what it is.
There’s nothing to tell.... I don’t know, it’s like a collapse of everything or a destruction of everything. There’s no more base. Previously there were a certain number of “truths,” let’s say ...
... which were plain to me, like what I expressed in my books – it’s as if all that had turned to dust. As if it didn’t have any ... yes, it’s dust. I don’t have a single sure idea I can lean on. There are no more reference points.
But that’s exactly what I just said in different words! Everything we think (it’s been ages since I had any ideas), is like that, it seems so futilely futile, I don’t know.
Yes. I well understand that all thought is futile and deceptive, that, I do understand. But one would like to have a beacon ... a practical beacon: to understand.
But for me the practical beacon is very simple: the Divine. That’s the only concrete thing for me.
Yes, of course, there’s the Force, I always feel the Force and ... and it’s very pleasant, if I may say so.
But that’s it, you see, there’s only that!
But I feel I’m walking like a blind man in that Force.
Well, being blind isn’t pleasant!
Yes, of course. Yes, but.... But why not! (Mother laughs) It’s come to such a point that.... For instance, I am here, there are lots of circumstances, complications, people ... and everything is so tangled up; but then in the background there is a sort of ... it’s not a mere Force, it’s a CONSCIOUSNESS-Force – a consciousness – and it’s like a ... like a smile – a smile ... a smile that knows everything. That’s it, you see. So, when I am quiet (gesture of open hands), it’s as if nothing existed and all is marvelous. Then, as soon as people speak to me or I see someone, all the complications are back – they make a mess of everything.
I am sure that it’s the passage from this life to that Life. When we are completely on that side, oh, we’ll stop speculating, wanting to “explain,” wanting to deduce, conclude, arrange – all that will be over.... If we knew how ... to be – simply to BE, to be. But for us, I have noticed, if we don’t speak, if we don’t think, if we don’t decide, we feel we are outside life.... And besides it’s not always the same kind of silence. It isn’t the silence of unexpressed words, it’s the silence of ... an active contemplation. The silence of an active contemplation. That’s it.
It’s certainly the preparation for a new mode of life. So the other one has to yield its place.
I see (as through a veil or as if it were very far away) a Power, an EXTRAORDINARY Power! But we are such imbeciles we don’t even accept it. I know, I’ve had some experiences these past few days.... I have this vision in which the psychic consciousness sees that through this instrument, through this (but this – Mother pinches the skin of her hands – has nothing to do with it except being the link between things as they are and the things that are to be), well, through this, A GREAT NUMBER of miracles are being done; and they are so extraordinary (lately) that it occurred to no one that they were miracles! ... One simply doesn’t know. It’s not a miracle as we conceive of it – an extraordinary miracle.... But then ... they don’t have any means of understanding.
Therefore the body is no longer this, but is not yet “that.” It is like this (gesture of swinging between the two), and that’s why ... this is not a cold, it’s.... Sometimes I am completely cured, everything, but everything works well, a minute later, everything breaks down. It’s not a cold you “cure.” Taking a medicine does not make any difference, while if you go into the true consciousness, everything is over. But it is incapable of staying there. It’s not so much the contact with people, it’s that it is incapable of staying there, that’s what it is. It can’t blame anyone else.
It is no longer this, it is not yet “that” – no longer this, not yet “that.” There you are. So ... (same gesture of swinging back and forth).
It is conscious of “that,” but momentarily: just what is required to be able to maintain continuity. That’s all.
The only difference....
We could say: nothing knows – anywhere or anybody; but there are those who aspire (how shall I put it?), who have the will, the inclination, the aspiration, the need to know – to know and to be – and then all those who don’t care ... who go along or just live their little-big life – whether it’s a head of state or a street cleaner makes no difference. It’s the same thing, the vibrations are the same. I don’t know how to explain it. I am saying it awkwardly.
No. I understand.
It’s so imperfect that....
(Mother gives up speaking and goes within)
July 24, 1971
It’s not over yet (gesture of tugging).... And you?
I don’t know, Mother.
How are you?
I don’t know ... all right, I guess.
You surely know better than I!
I tell you, we are no longer here, we are not yet there.... So it seems stupid. The body is more and more conscious, and it is conscious of the old habits that pull backwards but it is also conscious of the new possibilities that are there, that try to.... There’s only one movement to make, a movement of adherence, and ... everything would be all right – MARVELOUSLY all right. The old thing is like an old wall being torn down. That’s it. So it’s quite a ridiculous situation.
The body feels it’s no longer here: this holds no reality for it anymore, but it’s not yet THERE. So it’s like this (oscillating gesture between the two). It aspires. It has learned to invoke the Divine all the time, all the time, all the time, whatever it is doing, whether there are people present, whether it’s speaking or not; whatever it does, there is a constant invocation. That way, it’s all right. But ... it’s not positive yet. (Mother coughs) And this cold seems to go away and then it comes back. It’s not an ordinary cold.
But as soon as I go into deep silence, then, for somebody who’s receptive, it can be very helpful. As soon as I go into deep silence, the Presence becomes concrete, evident. Then it’s helpful. But as soon as I speak, I am ... (gesture of crumbling away).
So that’s what I can offer to you, unless you have something to say....
July 28, 1971
(Mother sits looking long at Satprem, her eyes open, then she smiles.)
When you were sitting here [in front of Mother] and I looked at you, you took your body and opened it like this (gesture as if Satprem were ripping his body in half from the stomach down), all, all the way.
Were you in pain?
No, Mother, I wasn’t in pain, but I’m fighting a lot with my nature.
(Mother laughs) You opened it up wide, like this.
But it’s funny, it was as if ... here [lower abdomen] there were a black spot like this (gesture), something like a black spot. It was as if you wanted to show me that black spot.... Now, the spot has gradually faded away. It’s gone.
It’s quite fine now.
Do you know, there’s an interesting phenomenon. The American ambassador to India [Kenneth Keating] is for Bangladesh, while the president of the American republic [Nixon] is for Pakistan!! (Mother laughs) So, now, they say, there are two Americas! A Pakistan America and a Bangladesh America!... The American ambassador is in total agreement with what you wrote.
Did he receive the article?
Yes, I suppose. I think so, I think it was sent to him. In any case, he’s in total agreement. He says, “I am here on the scene, I can see what’s going on, I know how things really are.” And he is absolutely against Pakistan. But the others....
You know, I found an aphorism by Sri Aurobindo yesterday for the next Bulletin, and while reading it, I thought: but it’s exactly right for Bangladesh! – in fact it’s rather for Indira Gandhi.
“He who will not slay when God bids him, works in the world an incalculable havoc.”
That’s interesting. We must publish that! (general laughter)
I want to give this for August 15:
“A veil behind the heart, a lid over the mind divide us from the Divine. Love and devotion rend the veil, in the quietude of the mind the lid thins and vanishes.”
September 9, 1936
There’s a terrible mess up there [in Delhi].
(Mother plunges again)
July 31, 1971
(Concerning a letter by Sri Aurobindo strictly forbidding sexual relations among disciples. Mother had several thousand copies of the letter printed with the following title: “Conditions for living in the Ashram and becoming a disciple.”)
“... To master the sex-impulse, – to become so much master of the sex-centre that the sexual energy would be drawn upwards, not thrown outwards and wasted – it is so indeed that the force in the seed can be turned into a primal physical energy supporting all the others, retas into ojas. But no error can be more perilous than to accept the immixture of the sexual desire and some kind of subtle satisfaction of it and look on this as a part of the sadhana. It would be the most effective way to head straight towards spiritual downfall and throw into the atmosphere forces that would block the supramental descent, bringing instead the descent of adverse vital powers to disseminate disturbance and disaster. This deviation must be absolutely thrown away, should it try to occur and expunged from the consciousness, if the Truth is to be brought down and the work is to be done.”
That’s the message I am distributing today.
There are many cases of people who ought to go away from here, but.... But you see, they’re here, and when the baby is due to come, they go to Auroville! While me, “I think they’re in Auroville.” Several cases. So I decided to publish that. I should add to it the message where I say, “Needless to say that those who aspire to Truth must abstain from telling lies.” (Mother makes a gesture of giving a staggering blow.)
There are lots, lots of cases in fact.
You see, they say, “Mother is old, she doesn’t go out anymore, she can’t see anymore, she doesn’t know what’s going on.” But I know what’s going on – I have other ways of seeing! (Laughter)
* * *
A little later
The other day I spoke to you about one of Sri Aurobindo’s aphorisms, and you said, “Yes, we must publish it.” Shall we publish it in the August Bulletin?... It was this aphorism:
228 – He who will not slay when God bids him, works in the world an incalculable havoc.
We can’t put that in! (Mother puts her head in her hands) A lot of people have the impudence to claim they receive the command of God – a lot of murderers.
Well, that’s true.
That would encourage them! (Laughter)
It’s true, it’s a two-edged sword.
It would give justification to too many things. Nowadays they kill so easily!... Oh, we can’t put that in!
They have distorted the meaning of things I have said.... I am constantly receiving letters from people – it seems to be a widespread malady. People come into your home and say, “Your hour has come.” They came into the house of someone who knows us and said, “Your hour has come, give us your pistol.” So he said, “All right, let me get my pistol and I’ll give it to you.” He opened a drawer and some cartridges fell out, so one of the hoodlums bent down to pick the cartridges up. And that man shot him with his revolver. So all the others ran away. But mostly it ends the other way – with a murder. It happened in his house. And in America if you walk down the street, they shoot at you. Everywhere. It’s a spreading madness. Or else they stab you with a knife – for no reason whatsoever, nobody knows why. And some of them say, “I am God-inspired....”
You know, it’s like a universal outburst of falsehood. It’s frightening. They take the teachings and twist them – they use them as a justification.
Do you have something?
The Russian translator is giving up.
(Mother goes within)
August 4, 1971
(Mother makes several unsuccessful attempts to record her message in English for “All India Radio” for August 15, the beginning of Sri Aurobindo’s Centenary year.)
Today is the first day of Sri Aurobindo’s centenary year. Though he has left his body he is still with us, alive and active.
Sri Aurobindo belongs to the future; he is the messenger of the future. He still shows us the way to follow in order to hasten the realisation of a glorious future fashioned by the Divine Will.
All those who want to collaborate for the progress of humanity and for India’s luminous destiny must unite in a clairvoyant aspiration and in an illumined work.
(Mother gives up,
I am deep in transformation, that’s why I’ve lost control. What I could do before I can’t do anymore. I see, I clearly see the direction it will take, but it’s not there yet. So now I am good-for-nothing.
My voice is completely ruined.
It’s interesting only from a documentary standpoint [the present conditions], because when this experience ends, and the supermind really starts coming, things will change and it will have a mere historical value.
It’s the most unpleasant moment.... The Power is here, you see, but the means of expressing it have not yet been created.
The old control is slipping away. It’s quite irksome for me – especially for eating, for instance, it’s very hard to swallow, to ... oh!
The body has simply a kind of ... perception – a distant perception – of what the true supramental control will be, but it’s only like this (gesture into the distance), almost like a promise, nothing more.
Truly a transition between two worlds.
August 7, 1971
(Mother’s eye is swollen again.)
Didn’t A. give you something?
(Mother tries to remember)
My memory is completely gone. I have impressions, but no memory. Impressions that underlie everything – that’s probably what will replace memory.
But I have a strong impression that A. had something to tell you....
I have a curious impression of a kind of web – a web with ... like very loose threads, I mean not tightly meshed, connecting all events, and if you have power over one of these webs, there’s a whole field of circumstances that apparently have nothing to do with each other but which are linked together there in such a way that one necessarily implies the existence of the other.... And I have the impression it’s something that envelops the earth.
And it’s not mental. They are circumstances that depend on one another, in a completely invisible way outwardly, without any mental logic, and yet as though connected to each other.
If you are conscious, really conscious of that, that’s how you can change circumstances.
And you feel a power over one of those webs?
No, it’s the other way around: it’s because I was working on one of those webs that I noticed it.
Ohh!... I see.
(Mother goes within)
You have nothing to ask?
Are circumstances going to change?
goes within and seems not to have heard.
Hard to say.
(Mother goes within)
If you had the power to replace one of those webs with another one, you could change all circumstances that way.
(Mother shakes her head)
What web are you working on at the moment?
But I don’t know.... They’re webs that are around the earth.
There’s one ... I see.... Why, every little circumstance of life is on it, and when I look like this (gesture looking from above), I see it extends over the whole country, and not just over the whole country but over the whole earth.
Are there several of them? ... I don’t know.
(Satprem puts his
forehead on Mother’s knees
I try, you know, I try.... Things go through the consciousness, but my whole effort is to avoid adding anything personal to them, you follow – so that it can be like this (gesture of unobstructed flow through a channel).
I am conscious of the Action on small points, but now it is here, now there (scattered gesture throughout space); it’s not ... there’s nothing continuous as in the mind.
August 11, 1971
(Mother gives Satprem a note she has just written.)
“When men become disgusted with the falsehood they live in, then the world will be ready for the reign of Truth.”
* * *
(Then another note she had had read to K.K. Birla, one of India’s foremost industrialists.)
“Truth is within
* * *
You have something to say?
What is happening right now?
(Mother sits with
her eyes closed,
You have nothing else to say?
How do you see that pact?
(Mother shakes her hands vigorously,
It’s as if you asked me, “What will it take for humanity to become disgusted with its falsehood?”
There is only ONE remedy – there is only ONE remedy – to rely only on the Divine Grace.
(Mother takes Satprem’s hands)
The only remedy: to put oneself entirely in the hands of the Divine Grace.
(Sometime in August the message that follows was circulated in the Ashram and Auroville, and published in an Ashram periodical. It is interesting to note that the text is an alteration of a much older original text that Mother had given to Satprem. The original text is included afterwards.)
“The task of giving a concrete shape to Sri Aurobindo’s vision has been entrusted to the Mother. The creation of a new world, a new humanity, a new society, expressing and embodying the new consciousness, is the work undertaken by her. In the nature of things, it is a collective ideal calling for a collective effort to realize it in terms of an integral human perfection.
The Ashram, founded and built up by the Mother, has been the first step towards the fulfilment of this goal. The project of Auroville is the next step, “more exterior,” seeking to widen the base of this endeavor to establish harmony between soul and body, spirit and nature, heaven and earth in the collective life of humanity.”
* * *
(First version) The task of giving a concrete form to Sri Aurobindo’s vision has been given to the Mother.
(Second version) The task of completing Sri Aurobindo’s vision has been given to the Mother. The creation of a new world, a new humanity, a new society expressing and embodying the new consciousness is the work she has undertaken. By the very nature of things, it is an ideal because the state of Nature that makes it necessary must be surpassed.
We aspire for the time when Sri Aurobindo will no longer have to die.
August 14, 1971
(It is the eve of August 15. Mother sees Satprem having been unable to finish seeing her usual entourage.)
Is there something you’d like to say?
No, nothing at all!
I am all right – even quite all right.
I am quite all right. The body is beginning to ... I could say to have the true attitude. I mean it increasingly feels in a concrete manner and, I could say, ACUTE manner that there is only ONE way to exist – in the Divine Consciousness. All the rest seems ... seems to it dangerous, unknown.
To remain as though constantly bathed in the Divine Consciousness seems to the body the only way to exist. There is no other. That’s the attitude of the body. It feels ... you see, it’s more than an impression, it’s.... I don’t know, almost an acute sensation, that one can exist only in the Divine and be constantly concentrated upon the Divine. And that such is the transition to go towards something that is still ... I wouldn’t say a dream, but a wonder. THAT....
It likes less and less to speak.
All words seem childish to it.
It has no need to know anything: it has a need of being entirely molded, set in motion and used in every way [by the Divine], and it has but one dream – to forget that it exists – to become spontaneously the expression ... (Mother has a blissful smile) of something ... of something it calls the Divine, which is the only true thing.
And what is Sri Aurobindo doing? ... Do you see him?
I don’t “see” him – I feel his presence.
Recently I read some of his letters about me.... How? It’s really a miracle that I survived [his passing].... My whole ... [being collapsed]. He was such a marvelous protection and support!
The inner being wasn’t affected because that remained the way it was – the closeness, the intimacy remained the same – but the physical being.... It’s a miracle it survived.
Several days ago I saw Sri Aurobindo and he was busy with money – he was receiving money, he was even receiving things in gold.
That surprised me.
I don’t know, I didn’t imagine him having that kind of activity.
That wasn’t necessary because I was there. But I know he was interested, in the sense that he thought money should come very freely and abundantly. He always thought that people should give all they had – for him that was an absolute rule. One shouldn’t have to ask – they should spontaneously give all they had.
Next Wednesday we’ll be quieter.
The body has only one ambition, I could say, that only the Divine exist and that it be like ... like something the Divine uses and is absolutely malleable and expressive. That’s all. Until such time when it will exist only in the Divine.
There’s a kind of prescience of a state in which there is only the Divine Consciousness. That.... (Mother intently closes her eyes with an ecstatic smile.)
Only the Divine Consciousness.
August 18, 1971
The body has the impression that it has to learn a new way to live, and it is learning new things all the time. But they’re tiny little things, that is, there’s a kind of secret to be found, an attitude that must be steadfast, making circumstances as good as they can be.
It’s something equivalent to the mantra. For the time being the body repeats the mantra, but it knows that it’s.... There’s something to be learned that physically replaces the mantra.
(Mother goes within)
What’s on your mind?
What I personally find difficult is permanence – to establish a permanence. It’s very difficult.
A permanence of what? Consciousness?
But consciousness is permanent.
Yes, but the external consciousness isn’t permanent. The physical mind, for instance, may go on repeating all sorts of useless things.
And on the other hand, the mantra gives me a feeling of a mental imposition, you understand? It’s not something that springs up from the core of the cells. It’s imposed. So it is set going for a time and is repeated – the mantra gets repeated the way any stupidity is repeated. And then after a time, something else comes.
(Mother remains silent)
One has the impression that unless there is literally a possession by something else, it’s hopeless. It should be really like a possession.
Yes, possessed by the Divine. That’s perfectly correct.
That’s the only way.
These last few days (and quite strongly this morning) I have had the impression: the Divine is all things, and we are born so that each one makes a choice and manifests one of those things – one or several.... And so comes the question of deciding on the choice, but that’s just where one must surrender entirely and leave the choice entirely to the Divine. We have been created as we are, and that’s the reason for all this wavering, these complications – but what we have to learn is to leave it to ... that is, have no desire, no preference, and leave the choice entirely to the Divine.
(Mother goes within)
August 21, 1971
Do you have something to ask?
I am wondering a lot what would have power over the physical mind.
How do you mean?
For instance, you set the mantra going and it repeats itself for a certain time, and then whoosh! it goes off on a tangent and you get going on something else. I can’t make it steady. Or else I have to re-start the movement mentally, by force. By applying the mind.
(after a silence)
I don’t know, for me it comes spontaneously. At times it’s very intense, very much in the forefront (depending very much on circumstances or the people present); at times it’s ... like something very vast – very vast – and very tranquil (Mother extends her arms in a great Rhythm). When that is there ... circumstances aren’t important, people aren’t important, everything is ... all is calmly divine. At times it becomes powerful and active: that depends on the people, on circumstances, or on something that is happening somewhere which I come to know later.
I don’t know, I can’t say.... The Divine seems to be closely “associated” with all, all, with the whole sense of the physical world, so much so that it seems the physical would have no foundation, no continuity if it weren’t so. So I am unable to say.
Actually, I can’t make out the state I am in. I simply feel in expectation of something.
(Mother nods vigorously) Ah, of that I am sure!
Now I am having some activities at night, completely new as I have never had before, extremely concrete and in which living people are mingled with those we call dead – and they are the SAME, they are the same there. For example, last night there was a very long activity with many people, and among those people was Purani (I see him very often); Purani had a major role, and M. and ... (what’s his name?) D. – D. and M. were quarreling! (laughter) And one thing after another.... And I was like one of them, wearing strange clothes.
I am discovering a world I didn’t know, which is the world ... I wonder if it’s not the vital physical? There were dances, movements.... That is, to put it in ordinary words: I have dreams such as I have never had before; only it’s not dreams, it’s an activity. It’s a world I was totally unaware of, and which is like this (Mother interlaces her fingers to show a sort of interpenetration of the physical and that world).
There are so many, so many things to learn.
Only those with a physical body have the kind of reactions – pleasure, displeasure – we have in physical life. The others no longer have it. That seems to disappear with the purely physical consciousness.
More and more I get the feeling we know nothing. That’s all. That there is an infinite variety of things, and we know nothing.
Personally, I often complain about my nights because, starting at two or three o’clock in the morning, I get the feeling I have a lot of activities which seem completely stupid to me, involving all sorts of things and people and....
And it seems stupid to me, you know, devoid of any meaning, and tiring moreover. What is it? I haven’t the faintest idea.
Perhaps it’s that. Perhaps that same world.
But what’s one doing there!
For our physical consciousness it’s stupid, of course.
Yes, it looks stupid.
That’s just what I had last night. And it was quite natural and ... without reaction.
I think it’s the mind that gives meaning to things; without the mind, things ARE, without their being given a meaning – they are because they are. So then for us, for the consciousness as it has evolved here, it is perfectly idiotic. While there it seems perfectly natural.
That must be what makes people become “unhinged.” If they don’t have inside what we could call the “divine support,” a kind of unshakable faith in the Truth and divine Grace, if they don’t have that....
(Mother remains absorbed until the end)
It’s a phase we have to go through. We have to ... go through it.
August 25, 1971
(Mother sits looking at Satprem for what seems a very long time. Her left eye is still swollen.)
Something to ask?
Do you see something?
No, there’s nothing.
(Mother remains absorbed for 40 minutes)
What would you like to say?
What is absorbing you like this?
(after a silence)
All the time, all the time, there is the “thought” of the Divine, but like a ... a kind of – thirst to be and to understand. All mental notions seem artificial to me.... At times there is terrible anguish; at times there is perfect peace.
It’s strange, at times I have the impression that death makes much less of a change than we think, and at other times it’s totally incomprehensible.... Strange, it’s like the two extremes: sometimes, it barely makes a difference; the next time it’s a ... something ... what does death really mean?
I would rather not speak because.... It’s not something mentalized at all, so it doesn’t have any....
I told you about those activities at night (I have no impression of sleeping, and yet the body is perfectly at rest), in which there are people who are living and people who are “dead” in ordinary language – and they are absolutely alike. Except that the living seem still to have egoistic reactions, which the others don’t have. But it’s ... (fluid gesture).... What to us is real doesn’t exist anymore. And it’s very concrete.
I am in a state where I know nothing, that’s all.
And so my one and only refuge is to sort of curl up in the Divine, you know.... As if....
To be You, that’s all. Do what You want with me, that’s all.... Not even like that (with words or thought), not even that.
It’s the transition from the old way of being, which is becoming more and more distant, to ... the Divine does everything. For instance, even food has become pretty difficult, because the old way of eating seems more and more remote, and it is replaced by something ... inexpressible. It’s inexpressible.
It’s as if you were standing on a ridge (gesture) and the least misstep would pitch you into a hole.
Everything seems different, all the ... everything seems so different. The nature of the relations with people is changing, the nature of everything is changing, but what? What?
It’s like being on the brink or point or ... hanging in balance – a tremendous Power (there’s a tremendous power, I have some examples), and at the same time, an incredible helplessness.
I prefer not to speak because ... because that’s not it. What one says is ... (Mother nods her head).
You know: it’s like being suspended between the most marvelous and the most vile. Like that.
(Mother remains absorbed a long while)
I don’t know how much time it will take....
I don’t even know where I am going – whether I am going towards transformation or towards the end. The consciousness is there (gesture above), it isn’t affected.... I don’t know.... But I am kept in this body (gesture of being held down strongly), as though it were willed that I remain in this consciousness. And then, all these cells become conscious, but.... Does it depend on having a form or not? I don’t know.
I am not in a condition where I can help others outwardly.
(Mother takes Satprem’s hands)
At times the body feels it can last an eternity like this; at times it feels it may get dissolved any moment.... And all, all, is like that.
Well, we’ll see.
The Force, the Power is greater and greater, but ... (I don’t know how to say it) but it’s not a personal power, not at all.
August 28, 1971
Well, what’s new?
What do you want or have to tell me?... Nothing?
Nothing, or always the same thing, rather.
Oh, you’re waiting! So am I! (laughter)
It’s as if all the ways of seeing the world were passing by one after the other: the most detestable and the most marvelous – like this, like that, like this ... (Mother turns her head like a kaleidoscope), and they all come to tell me: “See, you can look at it this way, you can look at it that way, you can....” But the Truth ... what is true?... What is true?... There is all that (same kaleidoscopic gesture), and “something” we don’t know.
First of all, I am convinced that the need to see things, to think them, is purely human and is a transitory device. It is a transitory phase, which seems terribly long to us, but in fact is rather short.
Even our consciousness is an adaptation of the Consciousness – THE Consciousness, the true consciousness is something else.
And so the conclusion for my body is ... (as best as I can translate it): to curl up in the Divine. Not to try to understand, not to try to know: try TO BE.... And to curl up. So I spend my time like that.
Not “try”: only one minute like that is enough (gesture of stepping backward), and time doesn’t matter anymore. It’s very curious, I make experiments for every little movement of life, like meals, for example; well, when I curl up like this (gesture of interiorization), everything seems instantaneous. There isn’t any time. When I am in the outer consciousness (what I call outer is a consciousness that witnesses the creation), then things take more or less time depending on the attention given it. And so everything, everything seems ... nothing seems to be (what’s the word?) absolute, in the sense of real – real, a concrete reality – nothing seems to be like that. Except unpleasant things in the body such as, for example, some functioning that goes wrong; that, you recognize as imperfection. The imperfection is what makes you feel the thing, otherwise it’s like this (same gesture of interiorization, curled up in the Lord). And “like this,” the Power is tremendous, in the sense that ... for instance, for some people, a particular illness vanishes (without my doing anything outwardly in fact, without my even speaking to anyone, absolutely nothing – it’s cured); for still another person ... it’s the end, he goes over to the other side. But then that other side has become both quite familiar to me and ... totally unknown.
I remember a time when the memory of past lives, the memory of night activities was so very concrete; the so-called invisible world was totally concrete – now ... now everything is like a dream – everything – everything is like a dream veiling a Reality ... an unknown Reality, and yet appreciable. I seem to be talking nonsense.
No, no, not at all!
Because it can’t be expressed.
You asked me the other day (your question has stayed with me), you asked me: when I am silent and motionless like this, what is happening?... In point of fact it’s an attempt (I can’t say an aspiration, I can’t say effort – the word in English is urge): the truth as it is. That’s it. That’s it. Not trying to know or understand it (it is all one to me): to be – to be – to be.... And then.... (Mother has a smile full of sweetness.)
Then curiously enough: at the same time – at the same time – not one in the other or one with the other, but one AND the other, at the same time (Mother slips the fingers of her right hand between the fingers of her left) it’s marvelous and dreadful. Life as it is, as we feel it in our ordinary consciousness – as it is for men – seems something ... but so dreadful that one wonders how it can be lived even a single minute; and the other, AT THE SAME TIME: a marvel. A marvel of light, consciousness, power – wondrous. And a power, a power!... And not the power of a particular person (Mother pinches the skin of her hands), it’s something ... it’s something which is everything.... And you are left without words.
So, quite naturally, the most interesting thing is to find That. Quite naturally, whenever I have nothing to do ... (gesture of interiorization, curled up in the Lord). That’s why I am forever asking you if you have questions or something, because there is no longer any “person” to be active, it’s only the things which ... (gesture indicating the movements and vibrations of people or things triggering Mother’s activity). So when that’s not there, it’s ... (gesture in suspense, silence).... Very far, far off ... quite close, quite close to the other Consciousness, there are moments (Mother speaks in a deep, solemn voice): OM Namo Bhagavateh.... That’s the most material thing. It’s already ... it seems so ... lifeless. It gives the impression that a piece of wood might give us. And yet it’s.... So at one and the same time one can be in a painful and incomprehensible and absurd life and absolutely at the same time ... unutterably marvelous.
So naturally I can’t speak to anyone anymore, I can say it only to you, because people would think I am going nuts.
Only “You” – that’s all.
And quite plainly the Creation has That as its goal, that marvelous joy ... of feeling we are You.
(Mother goes off in a smile)
So.... So what do you want? Do you want That?
Or do you want to ask me questions?
No, no, That is good!
September 1, 1971
(Concerning the years 1946-1948, when Satprem first came to Pondicherry to join the government of French India with Governor Baron.)
An image has remained with me which I can’t forget. There was a new governor, the one who succeeded Baron [in 1949], and I had gone to see him with Pavitra, and on my way out, in the salon or on the veranda, I don’t remember, or the balcony, you were sitting there – don’t you remember?
You were two or three – you were sitting there. You were still here, you hadn’t yet left [Pondicherry]. And that has remained with me – even now. How long ago was it?
Twenty ... -five years ago.
It has remained clear-clear, so clear: I see you sitting there, like that, with your back to the light (the sky was behind you). And I don’t know why, but that struck me very much, I’ve retained the memory of it. Even now I can see the same image. It’s strange.... We had come to see those people (that really didn’t interest me, but ...), but then, when I saw you: “Ah!” It was like ... you know, like something saying to me (Mother lowers her index finger): “That one.” You understand?
And it has remained with me ever since. There are so many, so many things I’ve completely forgotten, but that remains. You don’t remember?
No, Mother.... I have other memories of you at that time, but not that one.
It’s strange. Even now I see it, you know. There was the sky, it was like.... You were sitting on a stool or a kind of bench, there were one or two people (I don’t know) with you, but I didn’t notice them, whereas you, I saw you like this (Mother lowers a finger), like ... : “That one.”
It’s strange. It’s interesting.
I am glad you saw me!
(Mother laughs and takes Satprem’s hands)
It was like this: (Mother makes a gesture of grasping Satprem’s wrist).
The body is being taught to exist by the Divine alone, to count on the Divine for everything – absolutely, absolutely everything without exception. There is even a pressure for.... It’s only when the consciousness is linked to its utmost to the Divine Consciousness that there’s the sense of existence. It has become extraordinarily intense. When the physical gets converted, it will be something SOLID, you know, unalterable – and complete. And so concrete.... The difference between being in the Divine, existing only by Him and for Him, and then being in the ... not in the ordinary consciousness obviously, but just the human consciousness, is so great that the one seems like death compared to the other, it’s so.... I mean the physical realization is really a concrete realization.
There is beginning to be such a concentration of energy (oh! it’s not there yet, very far from it, but ...), there’s a beginning of perception of how things will be. It’s ... it’s really marvelous. And so powerful! A power and a reality in the consciousness that nothing, absolutely nothing else can have – everything vital or mental and all that seems hazy and unsubstantial. Whereas this is concrete (Mother clenches her fists). And so strong!
Some problems are still to be solved, but not with words or thoughts. And things come to demonstrate – not just personal things, but also things from people around me; people, things, circumstances, all that comes for teaching, teaching the body to have the true consciousness. It’s ... it’s marvelous.
(Mother goes within)
It seems that the problem was to create a physical being capable of bearing the Power that wants to manifest – all ordinary bodily consciousnesses are too thin and fragile to withstand the overwhelming Power that is to manifest. And so the body is being accustomed to it. It’s as if ... you know, as if it suddenly caught a glimpse of such, such a marvelous horizon ahead, but overwhelmingly marvelous! Then, it is allowed to take only as much of it as it can bear.
Some adaptation is required.
It’s quite evident where rest and food are concerned (especially food). It’s very strange.... The transition ... right in the middle of the transition.
Will it have enough plasticity? I don’t know.
It’s a matter of plasticity. To be able to withstand and transmit (gesture of something flowing through her), to offer no obstacle to the Power that wants to manifest.
Appearances are only future consequences. That’s why.... The appearance is what will change last.
September 4, 1971
What do you have?... You don’t have anything?... Some people came to see you?
No, aside from one or two exceptions, I refuse to see anybody. I don’t know, but I’ve found that now it is better for me to remain quiet.
Because I was told about someone who came to see you.
The only person I’ve seen is E.
Oh, he’s a nice man!
But otherwise I refuse to see people.
It’s better that way.
At one time, I used to see many people every day, but now, I find that ... I don’t know, I need to be quiet.
I have noticed something – already quite some time ago, but lately it has become very, very concrete. When I speak, there is a Consciousness which is expressed, and that Consciousness is what’s important – but people catch the words and leave the Consciousness! So of course that makes a frightful muddle. Therefore it’s better not to speak.
Well, maybe it makes a muddle for some people, but not for all – not for all!
But take this other example: I am trying to make Auroville a link between the old way of being and the new, but they are all sunk in.... I mean they use their freedom to live in the most ordinary way. So ... it’s discouraging. There are some – a few – who are good, but the majority is a subhumanity, an altogether animal humanity. So....
Having to take care of one’s own change is enough of a work as it is, no?
To be at every moment as expressive of the Divine Consciousness as one can be. That’s the only important thing.
Yes, when one is here, near you, one is taken up into a kind of absolute ray. It’s.... In the past, I remember my meditations “up above,” they were vast and quite pleasant, but here it’s a kind of ABSOLUTE. You say: this is IT. This is IT, you know, absolutely IT, it’s the absolute which is here and seizes you.
But when one is no longer near you.... Through concentration, you can still capture IT again, to a certain degree....
But as soon as you let go of the concentration, well, you again have to.... That’s the difficulty. There would have to be some kind of possession. But how is that done?
I don’t know.
It’s the Grace, in short!
(after a silence)
This body is trying its best to exist only in the Divine. If it could no longer feel separate from the whole (Mother touches the separative skin of her hands), it would be perfectly happy.
But like this (gesture of interiorization), when I don’t say anything, then it’s all right.
(Mother goes within)
You have nothing to ask?
Is something going to come to me? Something else [another book]?
People aren’t ready, mon petit! Every day I discover.... Those who are left to their freedom are worthless. They have the most vulgar consciousness, it’s dreadful – no aspiration, no need for perfection, nothing at all.
As for me I ... this body does what it can. It can’t do much. It tries ... it tries not to create any resistance. From time to time – from time to time – there’s something, a marvel, which lasts for a few seconds. But it’s ... (Mother nods her head). Either we have to manage to make this body more plastic so it can be transformed, or else it will be for another life.
Although I must say that ... Sri Aurobindo said to me, “Oh, to have to begin all that over again, the whole childhood and all that unconsciousness – no.” Before he left, he said no. “No, I shall return when it can be done in a supramental body.”
But there have to be bodies capable of lasting at will. He said, “The intermediate stage will be duration of life at will.” And I have the feeling that that is possible. Provided ... the body itself thinks only of one thing – transformation. When it is like this (quiet, concentrated), then.... I can spend hours – hours without moving – in a kind of receptive contemplation, and it seems like a second. The sense of time is really curious. You see, there is a certain receptive contemplation, and there (gesture of being suspended in a smile) ... time simply ceases to exist.
I sense.... I sense I am on the threshold of a great Secret ... but (Mother nods her head) ... not mental – not in thoughts. It’s ... “something.”
Give me your hands.
(a fleeting smile ripples over her lips)
September 8, 1971
(After a long contemplative plunge.)
It’s really a period of transition for the body.
The body is realizing, becoming conscious of what in it prevents it from being immortal, and at the same time of what can be immortal in it. It has had moments of agony as never before in its whole life – in connection with death, which has never happened before. And it has understood that its very constitution was causing this, and what it had to change. I am ... as though on the threshold of an extraordinary discovery, but....
I could put it this way: the why of death has become clear, and the how of immortality is ... (silence).... You know, it’s a curious thing, the feeling that there is something (Mother feels with her fingertips) TO TOUCH.
looking, her eyes luminously open,
It can last indefinitely.... The impression of touching something and ... (gesture of something escaping).
What did you feel?
Once Sujata made me understand what I feel when I am near you; she said, “It feels as if the body were made to pray when one is near you.” Well, that’s what I feel, a power which seems to seize all the parts of the body and ... I don’t know, fill them with an intense aspiration.
Yes, but that’s also what my body feels.
Yes, it makes the body pray. It fills it with a Power that.... I don’t know, it’s like a warm gold lifting everything up.
Yes, that’s how my body feels all the time.
I feel That flowing like this (gesture through herself) constantly.
Maybe that’s what Divine Love in matter is?
(Mother laughs merrily)
It’s so intense and warm at the same time – warm. And so strong ... it’s so strong that you can’t really use the word “love,” because it doesn’t correspond to anything you understand.
Yes, that goes for me too!... I am like this (gesture at the forehead): nothing, nothing, empty, empty, empty.... Here (gesture high and wide) here it’s ... yes, it’s a golden immensity.
I have the most peculiar feeling that there’s a kind of ... like scales, or tree bark, or turtle shell, melting, while the body itself is not like that (Mother makes a gesture as if the body were swelling up and bursting in the sun). What seems like matter to man is ... unreceptive. And in this body (Mother touches the skin of her hands), it is trying ... it is trying to ... (same gesture of swelling or blossoming). It’s really curious! It’s a curious sensation.
If one could last long enough for all that to melt away, then it would be the real beginning.
September 11, 1971
Everyone is quarreling! Everyone, everywhere. Squabbles, squabbles, squabbles – all the time, night and day, constantly.
At night too!
And at the same time there is the solution: an im-per-turb-able calm. It’s as if it wanted to teach the body a lesson. But ridiculous squabbles, you know, everyone, absolutely everyone. Some accusing others – they accuse each other – and everyone telling lies! Everything is twisted. Everything is twisted, nothing is clear. I have never (my God, I’ve been here a long time), I have never seen that to such a degree, with such a terrible restlessness. And my body is aware that if it loses the inner calm for one minute, it will fall very sick. It’s just like this (gesture suspended on a crest), as though it were about to tip over into a pit.
Only one solution (Mother spreads her arms) – an imperturbable calm.
It’s a concrete calm. Curious. It’s concrete. It’s as if you could touch it (Mother presses the palms of her hands on an invisible rock).... It’s curious.
(Mother goes into
the Calm for a half hour
Do you feel how concrete it is?
Yes, yes, it’s massive.
September 14, 1971
(Sujata’s visit to Mother. The day before, Sujata had gone to the Cazanove gardens, in the suburbs of Pondicherry, to see the tombstones of Pavitra and Amrita.)
(Sujata:) Yesterday I went to visit Cazanove.
To see Amritada and Pavitrada.... You know, nothing has been done, no work until now to cover the tombs, in two years.
How are they?
They are covered with “Sri Aurobindo’s Compassion,” and near the head, there is a slightly broken pot with “new creation,” and near the feet a pot of “devotion,” the same for both.... I found that very nice, but nothing has been done.
I’ve never heard Pavitra complain about it! (laughter) I see Pavitra very often, almost every night. Maybe he likes it that way. Even last night I saw him: he was in Japan. When did they leave?
Amritada left on January 31, 1969 and Pavitrada in May, May 16.
Oh, Pavitra left after.
You know, time and me....
Pavitra is here, he’s very active, he stays near me, I see him very often. Amrita I don’t see that much. Pavitra was absorbed into me and I put him back into a form little by little, and when he was completely formed, I brought him out and he stays very close here.
What does he do?
He meets people, he does all sorts of things.
What work does he do?
He meets people, talks, but he’s here, he hasn’t left the earth’s atmosphere. Amrita left to rest; Pavitra is here, in the subtle physical – that’s where Sri Aurobindo is and it’s a physical that has a strong tendency to materialize.
September 15, 1971
Do you have something to say? You don’t have anything?
No, Mother, nothing encouraging.
(Mother goes within for a half hour)
Strange, there’s a child beside you. A child who must be between one and two years old – blond. And he is looking, he is putting his hand on your shoulder.... He’s.... He seems very, very intelligent.
(Mother goes back within)
Who is that child?
I don’t know. I looked at him, he grew till he was about 10 years of age. And he stayed there. I saw him very young, two years old, then he grew, grew to about 10 years of age. He had his hand on your shoulder and was always looking at you like this (eyes wide open with a sort of devotion or adoration).
I don’t know.
He was European – not Indian.
It’s not my brother ... who has left his body?
Ah, could be!
But is your brother blond?
Yes, when he was little, he was blond.
Oh, then it must be him.
But does that mean he has quit his body?
Because he has taken a wrong course, you know – outwardly at least.
(after a silence)
He was conscious. The child was conscious.... Perhaps it was his psychic being which has left?... A total trust, you know (same wide-eyed gesture), like that.
Oh, but it’s peculiar, because he was blond when he was small [in Mother’s vision], and when he got big, his hair turned darker – I noticed that. He was about ... about ten, maybe.
You see, it was total trust. He was very quiet, looking at you and looking at you ... with total trust.
But it wasn’t the physical being.
Yes, I understand.
It’s night in France at this time?
Now it must be.... It’s the early hours of the morning, it must be five or six o’clock in the morning.
Do you think he is sleeping at that hour?
It means he would have a two-year old psychic being (you see, they don’t have age per se, only in terms of development). And he grew up at your contact. It’s interesting.
Is he younger than you?
Yes, physically I think he’s five or six years younger than I.... But he has completely taken a wrong course.
Yes. Did his psychic being leave him?... Maybe.
It’s quite possible.... I once saw him cut in half.
Only the lower part remained.
Then that must be it.
And the last time I saw him, he was upside down, his head down and his feet in the air.
He [the psychic being] seemed to be completely independent. And when he came – I saw him come – he was there beside you, he put his hand – his little hand – on your shoulder, and he looked at you like this (same wide-eyed gesture), and then slowly he grew and grew to about eight or ten years of age and then stopped. It is not a fully formed psychic being.... Perhaps it has left him. Perhaps he left it.
Do you mean he has to go through another life to find his psychic being again?
But once the psychic being has left someone, it doesn’t come back anymore?
Oh, yes, it can come back, but there must be a conversion.
There must be a conversion.
That the psychic came to you is a very good sign – it’s a very good sign, even for him. Because ordinarily, when the psychic being goes away like that, it goes back to the psychic world and rests until the next life. But he has remained conscious and came to you. That’s exceptional.
We’ll see what happens.... Perhaps he’s sick? I don’t know.
Or else it left because the vital being (vital and physical) violently pushed it away.
Yes, it’s more likely.... He’s thrown himself into rather terrible things.
(after a silence)
I don’t see him anymore, but I have the feeling he is there, he’s not leaving you.
But you can’t say it’s your “brother,” because the psychic being has been formed in other lives – it had ENTERED your brother.
Yes, of course.
(Mother goes within)
September 18, 1971
What do you have to tell me?
You gave me a “new creation” [tuberose] the other day, through Sujata....
It’s for you.
Does that mean that....
Something is going to come?
It means you haven’t finished! (Laughing) You haven’t finished writing!
(Mother gazes long
Something to ask?
No, but what about you, Mother?
Anything to say?
I had the rather strong impression several days ago that we are full of phantoms, I mean there really aren’t any difficulties or problems or resistance or anything of the sort, but there are lots of phantoms and old things, and it is simply our memory of them that pulls us.
Yes, it’s true! It’s true, I’ve had the same experience. It’s we who create (we, I mean all human beings), who create the problems.
And then there’s the memory. The real nuisance is the memory – the memory of a lot of old things – which perpetuates the old influence; but in reality there is nothing – only the memory of it.
Yes, yes, exactly. It’s quite true.
(Mother goes within)
Do you have anything to ask?
No. How are things?
Well, the world and you.
Bah!... Everything is like this (hanging gesture), everything. They’re ready to fight up there [on the borders of India and Bangladesh], and they’re forever waiting to be told to fight. The armies are ready, everything is ready and they’re waiting. Everything is like this (same gesture).
What are they waiting for?
For the government to give the order.
But the government won’t budge!
Oh, yes (Mother smiles), it will. It will be forced to move. But it’s resisting.
Someone came here from the government, sent by a “commission,” and through him the General in command of the armies has communicated with me, and he asked for my blessings. They are all ready. They’re waiting – they are told tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, always tomorrow. I have news from up there.
A few days ago, in sleep, I saw Indira Gandhi. She seemed to be here and was trying to convince us of something; what particularly struck me is that everything she was saying was on a very ordinary level, and she looked very pale.
She is easily influenced, you know. So there are ... (gesture of tugging).
Indeed, she has not accepted your influence alone.
No, she’s taken it and mixed it with others. That’s why things go like this (gesture of jumbled confusion).
(Mother goes within for a long time)
We are in full transition: it is no longer this, it is not yet that. And the concentration of force is greater and greater.
A strange experience. It’s a strange experience. The body feels it no longer belongs to the old way of being, but it knows that it is not yet in the new one and that it is.... It is no longer mortal and it is not yet immortal. It’s quite strange. Very strange. And sometimes I go from the most dreadful discomfort to ... a marvel – it’s strange. An unutterable bliss. It’s no longer this, and it’s not yet that. Well. Bizarre (Mother nods her head).
There is a sort of promise of an overwhelming Power, and at the same
time signs of such weakness – not weakness: disorganization. Disorganization,
and at the same time the sense of an overwhelming Power. So the two are like
this (gesture of being in a precarious
balance). It’s a disorganization in the sense that if I don’t pay
attention, I can’t eat, for instance. I have to pay attention, I have to be
concentrated all the time, concentrated in order to do things. Sometimes, not a
word in my head, nothing; sometimes I see and know what is happening
I have to be careful when I am with people, otherwise they would think I am going crazy! (laughter)
It’s really peculiar. A sort of total impotence and an overwhelming power side by side. And the results of the overwhelming power are sometimes visible in people here and there: all of a sudden, miraculous things happen. But at the same time ... sometimes I can’t even eat. It’s strange. (Mother laughs)
September 22, 1971
It goes on, there’s nothing new to say. It’s like this: sometimes marvelous, sometimes really unpleasant.... But the body is making progress, that is, it knows better how to remain constantly attached to the Divine. So it’s all right. That’s all.
Outside it’s like this (chaotic gesture).
But ... (words are stupid), but I could say that the Divine intervention is becoming increasingly visible (words are stupid, it’s not that; but it’s all we can say, all words are stupid).
What do you have to say?
Not much. There’s some interesting news. You’ve heard of André Malraux, the French writer?
I believe he even came here to Pondicherry to see you. He has made a statement on the radio, and you know, he’s a man who carries a lot of weight internationally: when he says something, he is listened to all over the world. So on French radio, he made a statement (you know that he was a minister under de Gaulle for a long time), a statement in favor of Bangladesh. He says:
The Indian Express, September 20, 1971
At 69, Malraux offers to fight in the ranks of Bangladesh. He says, “I receive many letters from young people who write: if you form a foreign legion, we are ready to fight for Bangladesh.” Malraux admits he is too old to serve in the infantry, but he claims he could serve in a tank. “One cannot seriously help Bengal by merely talking in its favor,” he says. “One should go there in person and fight for her.” Malraux acknowledged, of course, that India had been created by nonviolence, but in the present case, that kind of tactics is not possible. “You are facing a Vietnam. Either you fight and you will have the whole world on your side, or you don’t fight and the cause is lost.” “While intellectuals are signing petitions in good faith, the Pakistanis are throwing tanks into the battle. Consequently, the only serious thing is the defense of Bengal. Do it intellectually if you like, but with the support of combat.”
(Mother nods her
head several times
This can go on for hours....
(Sujata:) Mother, what does a white peacock with a golden tail mean?
Ooh! That must be the supramental victory. A white peacock is the integral victory; a golden tail is the supramental realization.... Did you see that?
Satprem saw it.
(Satprem:) I saw it last night.
Why, that’s splendid! It’s splendid. It announces the victory. What were you meditating on?
But I don’t know, I just saw it in passing.
Oh!... That’s very good. It’s the supramental victory. (Mother seems delighted) It’s good.
September 29, 1971
(Last day of the Durga festivals, Vijaya dashami, marking the Victory of the Universal Mother over an Asura.)
Do you want a [blessing] packet?
You had Sujata give me one yesterday.
If you like!
It’s not the same!
It was clear, very clear today, a sort of Pressure to say: Victory is Harmony; Victory is the Divine; and for the body, Victory is good health. Any, any discomfort, any disease is a falsehood. It came this morning. It was very CLEAR. It was convincing, you know.
So it’s all right.
It’s as if, through the Pressure, all the Falsehood had been brought out (gesture surging up from below). The most unexpected things. In people, things, circumstances. It’s really.... No imagination can equal it. It’s incredible.
But it’s a good sign, isn’t it?
Oh, yes! Oh, yes!... Only, the appearances in the Ashram are very ... (Mother nods her head), it’s as if there were a poison, you know, and by putting pressure, the poison comes out to be got rid of – and how it’s coming out!
Later we’ll be able to talk about it. But it’s really interesting, really. Yes, it’s a good sign, a very good sign.
Yes, it means that all those forces that have remained hidden underneath for thousands of year ...
... have lost their hiding place.
Yes, that’s it. That’s it.
We’ll see. Only, it can’t be spoken about yet – later.
Incredible, mon petit!
But a Power! A power, oh!... (Mother closes her eyes and smiles.)
October 2, 1971
(Last year, after the death of General de Gaulle, Satprem’s friend Y.L. had met André Malraux at Verrières; he immediately asked her, “Is the Mother still alive?” As Y.L. was a little taken aback, he added, “I went there before you, 33 years ago.... So I assume you know what they have been looking for in India....” Again a few days ago, Y.L. met André Malraux after his cry “Volunteer for Bengal”; he said to her, “What is essential in the fight I’m going to wage for Bengal is to know the attitude and action of Pondicherry.” Y.L. therefore came to put the question directly to Mother. Mother asked, “When is André Malraux meeting Indira Gandhi?” “In November, in Paris.” Mother again asked, “When is André Malraux thinking of coming to India?” “I don’t know.” Then Mother remained absorbed a long time and said, “He will only get THE answer when he arrives in India, because the answer is in him.” After meeting Indira Gandhi in Paris, André Malraux will renounce his plan of action. Let us note that when Y.L. met him, he leafed through the Auroville pressbook and said, “All this is familiar – I’m part of it – I know this.” And closing the book, “It’s as if the sun had risen. And it goes down.... And we begin again....” Y.L. simply replied: “And what if the sun has risen for good?”)
Do you know that Y.L., whom you saw a few days ago, met Malraux in Paris and gave him my article on Bangladesh, and “On the Way to Supermanhood”? And this morning I received a note from Malraux.
A card. It’s nice. He simply says:
“Many thanks for ‘On the Way to Supermanhood,’ about which one of our mutual friends had spoken to me – thank you also for thinking of sending it to me.”
He said you were “my son”!
Oh!... Well, that’s not completely wrong.
I said it’s true! (Mother laughs merrily)
It seems he has a lot of authority over there?
Oh, indeed a lot, and not just in France, but all over the world. If he says something, it’s a world event!
Oh, then that’s good.
So I thought I would send him a little note ...
... in which I would tell him this:
Dear Mr. Malraux, I was very touched by your note thanking me for “On the Way to Supermanhood.” Some fifteen years ago, in this Ashram, I was teaching French classes to the young Indian disciples, and I tried to tell them who Malraux was, whose work I admired – today they remember and, like me, are moved by your intervention on behalf of Bangladesh. The problem is deeper, of course, as you well know. What is at stake at the end of the present mental cycle is the creation of a new man – that is what we are trying to do here with the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Great Forces are at work here, in a humble way. And I am happy that “Supermanhood” did not leave you insensitive. Indeed, its cry needs you and your capacity to grasp the profound Sense of our human crisis. May the Force of Sri Aurobindo and Mother be with you. Fraternally with you in the great Work to be accomplished.
That’s good, that’s very good!
If a man like that were directly touched by you, it would be a fantastic help. Two words from that man, and the whole world listens.
(Mother goes within for a long time)
What do you say, Mother?
I say nothing.
I speak less and less.
Only, all the time the Force is going like this (gesture of unrelenting Pressure). It’s pressing on Matter for the transformation.
I don’t know, I feel the hour of great changes in the world is approaching.
I mean visible things.
Yes. And the Force is going like this very consciously (same gesture of pressure), very consciously. In the smallest detail as well as on the whole, very consciously.
When I am like this (gesture of being motionless and interiorized), I am simply conscious of that Force (same gesture of pressure), and then sometimes, a particular point (gesture of a ray being aimed) or a detail goes consciously through ... through the personality (I don’t know how to say it), and there it’s ... it seems irresistible: curing someone, even getting a thief arrested (!), things like that. It’s strange.
And more and more (Mother touches her hands) impersonal.
October 6, 1971
(Concerning the next “Bulletin.”)
Is it interesting?
But of course, Mother! But you know, as a matter of fact, I see the Bulletin from A to Z, every comma. It’s no one else.
That’s good. Have you finished “The Synthesis”?
No, Mother, it will take another year or two.
Oh, as much as that!
No, pardon me! They calculated it will last until 1975.
’75!... (Mother laughs.)
What shall we take up next?
What have we published?
“The Human Cycle,” “Human Unity,” a few chapters of “The Life Divine.”...
Well, we should finish the book.
Finish it!... (laughter)
It’s a lot of work.
Yes, enough for 30 years of the “Bulletin”!
Yes, it’s best to take The Life Divine.
Or “Savitri”? Your translation of “Savitri”?
Oh, that!... It would take a poet to do that.... You’re speaking of my translation?
No, it’s not, Mother! Maybe a few things need adjusting, but.... No, no, it’s worth it.
But I’ve done very little of it.
Well, you would have to “complete” it! (laughter)
Did I do the end?
A little at the beginning and then the end.
I don’t see anymore.... So I should go back to it then.... The Life Divine will take how many years?
I don’t know, thirty years maybe [at the rate of a chapter per “Bulletin”].
What! (laughter) Thirty!... Then it will go on until the year 2000.
(Laughing) Then we have plenty of time!
No, you see, it is bound to go on one side or the other, that is, either my body will be renewed and become stronger (I mean my eyesight better, and so on), and then it will be easy, or else finished.
Or else I’ll have to let it go.
No, no. No, it must change for sure. That’s sure.
It’s almost mathematical, you know.
It FEELS that way.... I don’t know. It’s up to the Divine Will. Because a certain part will necessarily have to be miraculous.
Without a miracle, it.... But then, the miracle depends on the Lord.
Well. Anyway, we have some time to think about it! (laughter)
But it HAS to take place, Mother. It’s not just faith, it’s a logical outcome.
It all depends (Mother touches her hands) on the proportion of what needs to be eliminated, you see. And the capacity for transformation.
But, Mother, I think it depends even more on its necessity for the world – on the necessity of your transformation for the world.
You think it’s necessary?
But of course!
It’s the only chance we have.
If it isn’t done in you, that means the thing is put off again for ... for centuries. Well, that’s just impossible! It’s not possible.
(after a silence)
I am fully open to anything the Lord wants – anything, even the most difficult of things. I am fully open like this (Mother opens the palms of her hands upward): what You want, Lord, what You want – that’s my joy. That’s all.
It’s my LIFE. It’s the essence of the life in me, in the body. It is like this: what You want – with a joy, a joy that is ... unadulterated.
Do you want a little concentration?
(Mother goes within)
October 9, 1971
Did you send your letter to ... what’s his name, in France?
My letter?... You mean to Malraux. Yes, yes, I sent it.
Directly, to an address in Paris.
The mail works very poorly these days.... Did you keep a copy?
(Mother goes within for 25 minutes)
Do you have a question?
You know, I think I’ve seen Malraux’s inner being.
Yes, just the day before I received his card, at night I saw a being dressed in golden clothes, all golden, and he was even wearing a golden turban. And he came to me and offered me something on a tray.... But the clothes were very important! And he was quite handsome.... With a turban!
He intends to come to India. Perhaps he had an Indian life?
(Mother goes back within)
October 13, 1971
(Mother hands Satprem an unusual “transformation” flower.)
Nine petals.... That’s the new creation – it’s the transformation for the new creation.
So what have you brought?
Oh, nothing much.... I’m a little overwhelmed by all the material problems.
Oh! Yes.... You have nothing to ask, nothing to say?
And what do you have to say, Mother?
(Mother goes within for a half hour)
You’re not saying anything.
No. Nothing to say.
Are we getting near something?
(after a silence)
Do you know the story of the new moon?... They’ve discovered a new moon.
Oh, yes, a very small one. Does it mean something?
They say it is the supramental creation!
And that it is approaching the earth.
Well, it may fall on it!... What do they mean, very small? Smaller than the earth?
Yes, I think it’s a mile in diameter.
That’s very small!
It seems it approaches the earth every 8 years.... But what does that have to do with the supermind!
I don’t know! (Mother laughs) I have no idea myself.... A mile, but then it could fall somewhere....
Yes, it would make a dent!... Sometimes one really gets the feeling that all this needs to be shaken up a little, don’t you think?
(Mother makes a gesture of not knowing)
Aren’t you in favor of “shaking up”?
(Same gesture with a smile) When I was told that, I had the impression it would become part of the earth.... But it would cause a disaster, wouldn’t it?
Perhaps not extensive? It would certainly create enough of an upheaval.
Unless it chooses the north pole or....
Would that make things on earth better?...
You are not very much in favor of shaking things up, are you?
I have more and more the impression that we know nothing, that we can do nothing, that we.... We’re really ... (helpless gesture) – we know nothing. All our so-called knowledge is....
We don’t even know our own destiny.
And materially, in the material life, you feel you are entangled in something in which every solution is false.
Yes, yes, that’s exactly it.
So you don’t know what to do. In practical life, you don’t know what to do.... You can turn in every direction and in every direction it’s false.
Yes, it’s false.
So those who want to live authentically, what should they do in a practical way? We are in this world of falseness – it’s in us and around us – and if we try to intervene in circumstances to correct them, we get even more entangled in the knot. Should one simply withdraw and leave things as they are?
This is what I do more and more (gesture of interiorization). I speak less and less, because everything one says is false.
For instance, I say “the Divine” – what is the Divine? I don’t know – and yet I can’t say that I don’t know. And even saying that is false – that’s not it. Everything is NOT IT. It isn’t it.
Even material life is like that. Take eating, for example, depending on a certain attitude (is it an attitude? I don’t know, because the consciousness is the same), the SAME food can be either absolutely detestable and impossible to swallow, or quite good.... The material circumstances themselves, the SAME circumstances can have very negative and serious consequences, or totally positive ones, depending on.... What does it depend on? That’s the point. Because the consciousness is apparently the same, you simply don’t know what causes the change.... In other words, the whole material life is ... unreal. You were talking of fighting, but fighting what? Everything is a mirage. We don’t know what it is, we don’t know WHAT there really is. What does it depend on?
There is something to discover.
Sometimes the body is seized by an unbearable pain, so painful it wants to scream – and a minute later, everything is perfectly fine. And the physical conditions are the SAME, the consciousness is the SAME.... What does it depend on?...
So you see (Mother suddenly clasps her forehead as if she were suffering or caught in an impossibility), better not to speak.
It’s something.... Something....
October 16, 1971
So, what’s new?
I have something here.... Some time ago I received a letter from a man who had worked with Théon.
So he asked about you, if you were still alive, and also he has written a book on the “cosmic tradition.” He wanted to send you a copy of the book as an expression of his “respectful admiration.” And finally he sent the book by air. Here it is: it’s called “In the Shadow of the Cosmic Tradition.”
(Mother laughs) Have you looked at it?
I didn’t read it, but I looked at it.
(Laughing) It’s very fantastic!
He mentions you only in the preface and says this: “The influence of the cosmic philosophy goes beyond the boundaries of the cosmic groups of France. Consider, for example, that the Reverend Mother of the Pondicherry Ashram (!), Sri Aurobindo’s collaborator, was a student of Max Théon in Tlemcen....” That’s all he says about you.
I told you the story. There were some astonishing things.... I told you I saw him deflect lightning!
Yes, I remember.
I SAW it (Mother touches her eyes). I can’t say I dreamed it: I SAW it. How did he do it? I don’t know.
He’s not alive anymore? He left his body?
Oh, yes, long ago. He left, I think, before I came here. A long time ago.
The book must say when, no?
No, it doesn’t say. Well, of course, I didn’t read the whole book, but he doesn’t say it in the preface.
Anyway, the cosmic tradition is quite fantastic, but just the same there is something there.... You could have a look if you have time.
You can see in the preface whether he says when Théon left.
No, I read the preface, but there’s nothing about the passing of Théon. He says, “the Eastern Sage, Max Théon,” that’s all.
He was.... I don’t know if he was Russian or Polish.
But all that kind of power they had over material things, wouldn’t all that have some use for you materially?
No, no use at all – absolutely NO use.
Only he did teach me occultism very well. At the time I was really very skilled!... (Laughing) I too did a number of miracles! But I didn’t attach any value or importance to them.
Well, for instance, the capacity Madame Théon had to absorb vitality, etc. – you remember, when she put a grapefruit on her chest?...
Wouldn’t things like that be useful either?
That, yes. That could be useful.... But Théon couldn’t even protect her! – She lost an eye in one of those experiences (I don’t remember now).
Yes, it’s a profounder change that is needed.
So, shall we send him something?
Yes, Mother. He seems to be a good man from what I’ve seen. He was severely wounded in the first World War. And in his dedication (he wrote you a dedication), he asks you a question. He asks you for an answer. Here is what he says:
“To the Mother. To the ideal Initiatrix of the spiritual divine and cosmic universalism....
What? I don’t understand.
He says: “To the ideal Initiatrix (that’s you, the initiatrix) ... as an expression of admiration and gratitude. The respectful homage of the author, who would be most happy to receive, written in her hand, some advice concerning the psycho-mental technique whose practice would give ... mastery and control over the neurophysiological functions with a view to diminishing and conquering the sensation of pain and physico-nervous suffering.”
Oh! Oh!... It’s curious, it’s just the experiences I am having now. That’s rather strange. I just wanted to tell you about that today.
The body is in a state in which it sees that everything depends only on ... how it is tuned in to the Divine – on its state of receptive surrender. I had the experience again a few days ago (I told you the last time, but I had it again in a very precise way): the same thing that causes much more than a discomfort – a suffering, an almost unbearable condition – disappears immediately with just a change into a blissful state. I had the experience several times. And for me it is only a question of a certain sincerity having to do with intensity in the realization that everything is the work of the Divine and His action is moving towards the swiftest realization possible, given the present conditions. Something like that.
What was his question?
I suppose he must be suffering. He asks for some advice concerning:
“The psycho-mental technique whose practice would give to the ‘brain center’ of the psychological faculties mastery and control over the ‘brain center’ of the neurophysiological functions, with a view to diminishing and conquering the sensation of pain and physico-nervous suffering.”
(after a silence)
I could say the cells of the body have to learn to seek their support ONLY in the Divine, until they are able to feel that they are the expression of the Divine. Is it clear?
Yes, Mother, very clear.
It is actually the experience I am having now. The experience (as I told you) of changing the consequences of things – I am having it. But it’s not mentalized, so I can’t put it into words. But the cells really have to become capable of feeling, first, that they are entirely controlled by the Divine (which is expressed by “What You want, what You want,” that state), and then a sort of receptive... (what shall I say?) it’s not immobile, it’s.... Probably you would say a PASSIVE receptivity (Mother opens her hands in a smile). But I don’t know how to explain it.
(Mother closes her eyes in a smile)
All words are false, but you could say: “You alone exist.” You know, what the cells feel: “You alone exist.” Like that. But all that becomes hard – words harden the experience. It’s a kind of plasticity or suppleness, very trusting): what You want, what You want....
Will you take care of an answer to that man?
Yes, certainly, Mother. What about sending him a “blessing packet” as a support to your words?
(Mother gives a packet)
You know, the “Cosmic” had a very interesting effect in my life. I was completely against “God.” The European notion of God was quite repulsive to me. But at the same time naturally, that prevented me from having any experience. And with the “cosmic teaching” of the inner god (that was Théon’s idea, the inner god – Mother touches her chest – the one that is inside each of us), brff! (gesture as if walls were crumbling). The experience was fantastic. I am very grateful to him. That’s how it happened; I found it by following his instructions and searching within, behind the solar plexus. I found it, I had an experience ... an absolutely convincing experience.
Only people will stumble upon some vital force and mistake it for the soul, so.... You have to be VERY sincere, that is the absolute condition. You have to be VERY sincere, VERY sincere – not only must you not deceive others, but you must not deceive yourself. You have to be VERY sincere. And then you find it. You find it, it’s an absolutely concrete experience.
I had the experience before coming here. Before I came, before knowing Sri Aurobindo, I had the experience. So three quarters of the work was already done, you could say.... I didn’t have mental knowledge (the mental knowledge was nothing to talk about), but it’s not necessary for the experience. If you’re sincere, you have the experience without thinking, you don’t NEED to think. But you have to be sincere.
And now that’s what my body has, it’s having those same experiences. But words are....
In a certain attitude (but it’s difficult to explain or define), in a certain attitude, everything becomes divine. Everything. And what is marvelous then is that when you have the experience that everything becomes divine, everything that is contrary quite simply disappears (fast or slow, right away or little by little, depending on circumstances).
That’s really marvelous. That is to say, becoming conscious that everything is divine is the best way to make everything divine – you understand – to eliminate all opposition.
(Mother goes within)
When did you receive that book?
I received it yesterday.
We could say that the cure for all physical disorders lies in the cells becoming convinced – conscious and convinced – that they are an expression of the Divine, or even that they are divine in their essence.
Just last night, I stayed for hours.... (nowadays I sleep very, very, very little, I spend hours in a kind of state that is not sleep and not activity, it’s something rather new), and in that state the body became conscious that it was nothing, that it knew nothing, that it could do nothing, that it ... a kind of almost total nullity. It had that for hours. And then slowly that feeling changed ... it changed into a ... something like a sensation (it’s not an ordinary sensation, but it’s something similar to a sensation); the “nothing” – the nothingness, the total nullity – began to feel that it existed only THROUGH the Divine; and then gradually, FOR the Divine, and ... a kind of peace settled in... (Mother closes her eyes with a smile ... then she opens her eyes wide), an all-powerful peace.
And everything that was painful disappeared.
Only, the body [Mother’s body] has an advantage in life: it was built and conceived in such a way that it does not desire pleasant sensations. It does not desire (what shall I say?), yes, the sensation of pleasure, pleasant things, it is quite indifferent to them – and spontaneously. It took no effort to overcome its desires, it never cared about them. It only protested against pain, but that is disappearing totally.
Now, I think the bodily ego is in the process of disappearing. Then it will be perfect.
It’s really quite spontaneous – spontaneous and sincere: You, You, You.... What You want, what You want.... what You want.
October 20, 1971
(Mother begins by translating into French the message by Sri Aurobindo that she wants to give on 24 November.)
“One must rely on the Divine and yet do some enabling sadhana – the Divine gives the fruit not by the measure of the sadhana but by the measure of the soul’s sincerity and its aspiration. Also, worrying does no good – ‘I shall be this, I shall be that, what shall I be?’ Say: ‘I am ready to be not what I want but what the Divine wants me to be,’ – all the rest should go on that base.”
April 13, 1935
They have found some letters – some old letters – from Sri Aurobindo to Barin and the lawyer – extraordinary! They are incredible. They give the measure of Sri Aurobindo as a man of action. Even in 1920, he intended to undertake an action. To organize centers all over India, the world, oh!... a plan!... And that was before the liberation of the country!
He says that he has completely withdrawn to find his yoga, but once he had found it, he is going to start his action....
* * *
(A little later, Mother signs the contract for the German edition of “Supermanhood.”)
And in Russian?
The 30th is your birthday....
You must admit, it’s strange that the book is being published in Germany before being published in France.
Yes, it is being published in Germany, but not in France, they don’t want it. I find that rather....
It’s because there’s no one to look after it.
In any event, wherever we tried it was refused.
Have you seen M.’s translation [another English translator]?
Yes, in part. Many passages are very beautiful.
I think that on the whole it will be effective – not everything is understood.
No, but ultimately that doesn’t matter. What she has understood and brought out is brought out well and forcefully. Many deeper things are omitted. But we have no choice. Her merit is that what she has understood comes through with force and sometimes even beauty.... I told her I was very happy. And in fact I am happy, because that’s enough, it’s effective.
I spoke to her about the publication. She said it was easier for her in America than in England, but she had to see.
* * *
(Letter from Sri
Aurobindo to C.R. Das,
18 November 1922
It is a long time, almost two years I think, since I have written a letter to anyone. I have been so much retired and absorbed in my Sadhana that contact with the outside world has till lately been reduced to minimum.
... I have become confirmed in a perception which I had always, less clearly and dynamically then, but which has now become more and more evident to me, that the true basis of work and life is the spiritual, – that is to say, a new consciousness to be developed only by Yoga. I see more and more manifestly that man can never get out of the futile circle the race is always treading until he has raised himself on to the new foundation. I believe also that it is the mission of India to make this great victory for the world. But what precisely was the nature of the dynamic power of this greater consciousness? What was the condition of its effective truth? How could it be brought down, mobilised, organised, turned upon life? How could our present instruments, intellect, mind, life, body be made true and perfect channels for this great transformation? This was the problem I have been trying to work out in my own experience and I have now a sure basis, a wide knowledge and some mastery of the secret. Not yet its fulness and complete imperative presence – therefore I have still to remain in retirement. For I am determined not to work in the external field till I have the sure and complete possession of this new power of action, – not to build except on a perfect foundation.
But still I have gone far enough to be able to undertake one work on a larger scale than before – the training of others to receive this Sadhana and prepare themselves as I have done, for without that my future work cannot even be begun. There are many who desire to come here and whom I can admit for the purpose, there are a greater number who can be trained at a distance; but I am unable to carry on unless I have sufficient funds to be able to maintain a centre here and one or two at least outside. I need therefore much larger resources than I at present command.
I have thought that by your recommendation and influence you may help Barin to gather them for me....
On Himself, XXVI.436
* * *
(Letters from Sri Aurobindo to his younger brother Barin.)
18 November 1922
... I have been till now and shall be for some time longer withdrawn in the practice of a Yoga destined to be a basis not for withdrawal from life, but for the transformation of human life. It is a Yoga in which vast untried tracts of inner experience and new paths of Sadhana had to be opened up and which, therefore, needed retirement and long time for its completion. But the time is approaching, though it has not yet come, when I shall have to take up a large external work proceeding from the spiritual basis of this Yoga.
It is, therefore, necessary to establish a number of centres small and few at first but enlarging and increasing in number as I go on, for training in this Sadhana.... The first, which will be transferred to British India when I go there, already exists at Pondicherry, but I need funds both to maintain and to enlarge it....
Many more desire and are fit to undertake this Sadhana than I can at present admit and it is only by large means being placed at my disposal that I can carry on this work which is necessary as a preparation for my own return to action....
* * *
1 December 1922
... I must now make clear the reasons why I hesitated to sanction the publication [of certain texts].... But that about noncooperation would lead, I think, to a complete misunderstanding of my real position. Some would take it to mean that I accept the Gandhi programme.... As you know, I do not believe that the Mahatma’s principle can be the true foundation or his programme the true means of bringing out the genuine freedom and greatness of India.... My own policy, if I were in the field, would be radically different in principle and programme.... But the country is not yet ready to understand its principle or to execute its programme.
Because I know this very well, I am content to work still on the spiritual and psychic plane, preparing there the ideas and forces, which may afterwards at the right moment and under the right conditions precipitate themselves into the vital and material field, and I have been careful not to make any public pronouncement as that might prejudice my possibilities of future action. What that will be will depend on developments. The present trend of politics may end in abortive unrest, but it may also stumble with the aid of external circumstances into some kind of simulacrum of selfgovernment. In either case the whole real work will remain to be done. I wish to keep myself free for it in either case....
October 23, 1971
(Satprem reads to Mother a letter from G., which ends with the following question.)
He asks a question?
Yes, at the end he says: “Mother, what sort of change may take shape in life if one becomes just Thy Will but nothing else?”
(after a silence)
Supreme Peace, certitude, and even the functioning of the body can change.
(Satprem has not heard well:) You said Supreme Peace....
Supreme Peace is established and becomes constant, and then....
Then the functioning of the body can change.
And certitude in the action also. A certitude in the action when you do things. That’s all?
It’s very difficult to know what to do.... You get the feeling there’s a Silence, that nothing responds – nothing tells you: “Do this or do that.” So you wonder if that silence means you should simply remain inactive and still, or if you should undertake a positive act, “pull” something and act.
It depends on the case. There’s a slight difference.... There are cases when nothing comes – nothing, everything is stopped. So there you have to wait until it runs its course. There are cases where you are NATURALLY led to do one thing or another, which seems totally indifferent but is part of the Action (I don’t know how to say it). I have experienced both. It depends on the case. There are cases where nothing is needed. There are cases where it’s simply as though you put the Divine ON the thing (Mother makes a gesture of aiming a beam). You know, you’re like ... not an intermediary, I don’t know ... it’s like a power of concentration on something; then the Divine Force flows through and is focused (same gesture of aiming a beam), but you yourself do nothing – yet the thing is done. Sometimes, if there is a word to be said, then the word comes to you; or if there is something to be done (it may seem like a very small, indifferent thing), you just have to do it quietly – you are LED to do it.
You’re led, yes, I understand....
Because, my own fear is that I am divided between the idea that I must do something and the idea that if there is really something to be done, inevitably the Divine will make me do it.
But then, you wonder whether that’s inactivity, passivity [or even somnolence], or whether you should do something – that’s the only thing.
No, there is a moment when it becomes clear. It all depends on.... All personal preferences and desires must disappear.
Yes, that’s it.
Then, in that case, it becomes very clear. There are times when you’re sort of COMPELLED to do something. There are times when ... nothing – you feel the Force passing and having an effect, but you yourself (I mean, the body), the body doesn’t move. It becomes very perceptible. And I’ve had proof that that’s right, because I’ve had examples: at times, when I’ve remained still like that, without saying anything, simply letting the Force be focused on someone or something through the body (same gesture of aiming a beam), it does it, it acts miraculously like that. And the body has done nothing, hasn’t moved, just let it pass through and be focused on a particular spot (same gesture). It’s automatically focused. Because it’s in our consciousness that the world is divided like this (gesture of little pieces), and there’s one person, another person, one thing, another thing – it’s our consciousness which is like that; so “one” uses that [the individuality] as a channel for the Force to go exactly where it is supposed to go. The action is not a personal action: it’s an Action of the Force using the personal consciousness as a pipe – you understand?
It’s very difficult to say that one no longer has any preferences and desires....
Because it’s so subtle!
Oh!... But that’s progressive, you see; you can go on working at it all the time, all the time, all the time.... It’s my constant occupation: eliminating all preferences. But the positive means is (we always come back to the same thing): “What You want, what You want.... What You want, what You want....” And when you’re completely still and free from any trepidation (what I call “passive receptivity,” that is, there isn’t any activity, and yet: what You want, what You want ...), then – then only – That works. And you really have the feeling (I don’t know how to say it), really that you’re used only as a channel so the Thing – the Force or the Action – can go exactly where it is supposed to go. That’s what our consciousness is used for (gesture of a pipe).
October 27, 1971
What do you have to say?
There’s a practical problem, Mother....
(Mother gives a transformation flower)
But that’s enough!... A practical problem concerning the statue of Sri Aurobindo in Calcutta. You know that the government of Bengal decided to erect a statue of Sri Aurobindo in place of Lord Curzon’s – the very man who had sought the division of Bengal, and Sri Aurobindo had tried to stop him. Sri Aurobindo would take the place of Lord Curzon, across from the “Victoria Memorial.” It’s at the entrance to Calcutta. That’s what they decided in principle. Then the government of Bengal was overturned and their decision wasn’t put into legal terms, so now everything is pending. Now to restore the momentum, the people of “Pathmandir”have to do something. But the people of Pathmandir have another idea. They purchased some time ago the house where Sri Aurobindo was born in Calcutta....
And they propose, instead of putting the statue of Sri Aurobindo on a public street, to put it in the house where Sri Aurobindo was born.
But would it be in the open?
No, it will be in the house.
But no one will see it, then!
That’s what I think too. But they say, their argument is: if we put it in the house, it will be protected – the crows will not make a mess on it, and the students won’t decapitate it!
Are the students of Bengal against Sri Aurobindo?
No, no, Mother! But it so happens they decapitated the statue of Gandhi, for instance!
(With a smile) Ooh!
For Sri Aurobindo himself, it’s better in the house – it’s more in keeping with his temperament and character. For the people, it’s better outside.
Yes, certainly. A statue is made to be in public, so the image is there for everyone to see.
Yes, but if they are likely to damage it or.... That should be absolutely avoided.... I don’t know, they’re mad there – they’re mad everywhere. They’re mad here too.
Here too, it came here, the same idea of killing, destroying.... It’s everywhere. It’s as if the whole vital world had descended on earth (gesture of a crushing mass).
I wouldn’t want anything to happen to the statue.
Yes, Mother, but in my opinion, the statue loses its meaning if it isn’t in public. If it’s put in a house, it loses its meaning.
What had a meaning is putting Sri Aurobindo across from the Victoria Memorial, in place of the Englishman who wanted to divide Bengal – that has a meaning.
Yes, obviously. But then the Indians would have to behave decently.
Anyway, the people of Pathmandir will do what you say.
(Mother remains concentrated)
The best thing is to have two statues: one in public and one in the house.
All right, Mother.
That would be the best.
I’ll tell them.
And they don’t have to be the same. One can be sitting and the other standing. The one in the street, standing; and the one in the house, sitting. That will be very nice. Because in the house there’s no need to ask anyone’s permission. I hope the one in the street is standing?
I believe you had chosen a photo of Sri Aurobindo in which he was looking toward the future. I think it’s the photo by the Dutch painter.
Yes, that’s it. I would like the one in the street to be standing. And then, in the house, sitting at a table.
At a table?
Or simply sitting. That way, it’s fine.
If something happens to the statue in the street, well, it will be the sign that Bengal will go under. That’s all. It will be too bad for them.
That’s the point, I don’t want his action to be dependent on that. So, if he is seated in the house, his action continues – even if they destroy his statue [in the street]....
But they won’t touch it, Mother!
I don’t think so.
He is too beautiful!
Oh, but people are going mad. I really don’t know how long it will last, but there is a wind of madness everywhere. They talk only of killing. It’s as if ... (gesture showing the onrush of vital forces on earth), oh!... The world has become repugnant.
Division is very strong.
But an ABSOLUTE sincerity is required for those who want to work.
Yesterday I had some experiences that showed me how the usual habit of thinking that “things will somehow be taken care of” within, that they are “being taken care of,” is no longer sufficient. Now we need this (Mother lowers her fist forcefully into matter, like a blade of light): like this.
You mean Kali?
An ABSOLUTE is needed, you follow. You must accept nothing in yourself that says: it will come, it will come....
I had an experience.... That’s all right, I was happy, I was very happy because that requires some integrality, you know – an absolute sincerity and integrality – otherwise.... But the experience itself was terrible.
Was it a personal physical experience?
(Mother nods her
Outside there is a lot of trouble in town because of....
Yes, a lot.
But it’s not the students’ doing.
It’s the students.
Yes, but behind, there’s something else, Mother.
Yes it’s the Mission, of course.
It’s the Mission. And the French consul is with them.
Yes, of course!
Last evening there was a meeting of 2,000 people – with inflammatory speeches against the Ashram, against the university, and against the central government because the government is in favor of the university.
Humanity is really petty.
Oh, yes! It has descended very, very low.
Sri Aurobindo!... For them Sri Aurobindo is a “foreigner” (!) because he comes from Bengal – it’s dismaying! He who did everything for this country. It’s dismaying.... Really only the Divine can put up with that.
Because humanly I would say: very well, let this humanity fall into the pit! Let it be crushed, what does it matter!
There would not remain too many living beings.
Yes, Mother, certainly.
But one really doesn’t see what miracle can change all that.
Oh, there WILL BE a miracle. But what, I don’t know.
Because this whole reaction, this whole movement (gesture at ground level) belongs to the lower mind and vital, and it’s pretty low; but a Pressure from above would make a pulp of all that – how will it come about? I don’t know.... But one can see – one sees clearly that external circumstances are being brought to the point where things will suddenly crack up. But how? I don’t know.
Were you given the quotations from Sri Aurobindo?... They’re interesting.
I haven’t seen them yet.
Oh, you must see them, they’re very interesting.
I have them here.
There are two long ones and four short ones. We’ll put them in February and August next year.
(Satprem, leafing:) I’ve just chanced on this one!
“One must have faith in the Master of our life and works, even if for a long time He conceals Himself, and then in His own right time He will reveal His Presence.”
That’s it! That’s exactly it! Exactly. But the ones from “The Life Divine” are really interesting:
“The tree of the knowledge of good and evil with its sweet and bitter fruits is secretly rooted in the very nature of the Inconscience from which our being has emerged and on which it still stands as a nether soil and basis of our physical existence; it has grown visibly on the surface in the manifold branchings of the Ignorance which is still the main bulk and condition of our consciousness in its difficult evolution towards a supreme consciousness and an integral awareness. As long as there is this soil with the unfound roots in it and this nourishing air and climate of Ignorance, the tree will grow and flourish and put forth its dual blossoms and its fruit of mixed nature. It would follow that there can be no final solution until we have turned our inconscience into the greater consciousness, made the truth of self and spirit our life-basis and transformed our ignorance into a higher knowledge. All other expedients will only be makeshifts or blind issues; a complete and radical transformation of our nature is the only true solution.”
The Life Divine, XVIII.627
I would like to keep that one for February 21.
I’m thinking of what he says there, those “unfound roots”.... What is that root, that unfound root?
Root of what?
The root that hasn’t been found. The root of all the evil, the Ignorance, everything: “As long as there is this soil with the unfound roots in it and this nourishing air ...,” etc.
(after a silence)
What I found with yesterday’s experience – what the experience demonstrated to me – is that the physical being, which thought it was exclusively turned to the Divine, is turned in a ... (what shall I say?) an almost superficial way. That is to say, it is still capable of feeling certain occurrences as “catastrophic.” I was made to live all the possible things that could still happen to me, to the body, if things went wrong and precisely if men were driven by the adverse force. And I could see to what a degree (there were the most dreadful possibilities, you know), I saw to what a degree the body is not ... (imperturbable, immobile gesture). For several hours it was truly, oh, completely upset, ill with the horror of those possibilities. And then it was able to offer all that to the Divine and say, really say consciously: “Your Will.”
But there was that kind of incapacity we have to know truly the Divine Will – especially concerning the future, tomorrow, what’s going to happen right at this minute – it was dreadful. How we know nothing, how utterly ignorant we are!
Yes, that’s something I feel very strongly too. I feel very strongly how much we don’t know – we don’t know!
It was yesterday afternoon between one and two o’clock, I think. But it was dreadful, you know, it was worse than hell – simply to see ... just how little we know.
And it was a very complete experience, because it wasn’t the experience of a person but of all humanity: I saw absolutely concretely that all men who THOUGHT they knew they had Experience [of the Divine], well, it was ... (wavering gesture, just above the head), it was halfway, so to say. Whenever we rise a little higher than the ordinary consciousness, we at once think we have touched the Divine.
And that experience yesterday did not culminate in any knowledge; it culminated in ... (Mother opens her hands in a gesture of surrender).
So individual existence – what we call “existence” – seems such an abominable, such a horrible thing!... (Mother pants)
And at the same time, a very distinct perception that this is not ONE single existence in a material body: it’s the personal, individual existence throughout all time that goes on like this (infinite gesture ahead). So the solution was (gesture of open hands): to give oneself without any ambition to know, to unite without having the illusion of feeling union. Like that. A total surrender.
You see, death is not a solution! NOT AT ALL. There is no solution except ... except if ... what? (Mother touches her body, indicating material transformation). Perhaps when we’re ready – if we’re ready.
It’s ... it was unbelievably horrible.
I came out of it. But I came out of it like this (gesture of open hands).
An effort – a little more sincere effort – and a little more sincere realization: what You want.
(Mother goes off into a smiling silence)
October 30, 1971
Happy birthday! Happy birthday!...
(Mother gives presents)
My card is there – nothing much. I don’t even know what I wrote you.
Shall I look? [Satprem opens the card.] You said, “With my affection and blessings.”
Just that. It’s better than a lot of words. I don’t like big words. I have but one thing to tell you: I need you. There! (Mother laughs)
Oh, Mother, I wish I could serve you better.... It’s a grace to work for you.
But I am so happy with your work! It’s so helpful to me, you know – just the way I want it to be. Exactly. Not once have I thought: Well, he could do this, he could do that – no, it’s just the way I want.
So what do you have to tell me?
I don’t know....
I often think of the next book I should write, and I wonder in what direction it will be?
(Mother goes within
for a long time,
I have a sort of impression of knowing the why of the creation.
It was to realize the phenomenon of a consciousness which would have at once an individual consciousness – the individual consciousness we have naturally – and a consciousness of the whole, a consciousness (how to put it?) ... it could be called global. But both consciousnesses merge into something ... which we have yet to find.
A consciousness at once individual and total. And all the work is to merge the two consciousnesses in a consciousness which is both at once. That is the next realization.
For us it takes time (what is translated for us as time), as if it were something “being done,” or which is “to be done.” But that is the illusion we’re still in. Because we have not ... we have not yet crossed over to the other side.
But the individual consciousness is not at all a falsehood, it has to be associated with the consciousness of the whole so as to make another kind of consciousness which at the moment we still don’t have. Not that it will cancel out the other, you understand? There has to be an adjustment, a different aspect, I don’t know ... so that the two can manifest simultaneously.
For example, right now I am having a whole series of experiences concerning the latent power of creation of the individual consciousness, I mean the capacity we have of knowing things – knowing or wanting them, as we say – in the individual consciousness before they take place. We say “I want this,” but that’s merely an intermediary device, it’s actually the consciousness on the way to something and having at once the vision of what is to be and the capacity to realize it.
That’s the next stage. Afterwards....
So, for us, meaning for the individual consciousness, that is translated by time, the time it takes to.... I don’t know how to say it.
This is the way I feel: no longer this, not yet that; and there’s no need to leave one to be the other – the two must combine and give birth to something new.
I have a very strong feeling I have caught the true thing, as if I held (Mother clenches her fist) the tail of the true thing. And it explains everything – absolutely everything. And it cancels nothing.
(Mother goes within for a long time)
You have nothing to tell me?
So I shouldn’t worry?
No. No, no! If you knew how marvelous it is! Absolutely all the problems have been solved all at once. Only, I can’t talk about it.
It’s a hundred times more marvelous than we can possibly imagine.
The question is to know if this (the body) will be able to follow.... To follow, it not only has to last, but it has to acquire a new strength and a new life. That I don’t know. In any case, it doesn’t matter – the consciousness is clear, and the consciousness is not subject to this (Mother points to her body). If it can be used, so much the better, if not.... There are still things to be found.
Oh, many things to be found! The old routine is over.
We need to find the plasticity of matter – so that matter can progress forever. That’s it.
How much time will it take? I don’t know. How many experiences will it take? I don’t know. But now the direction is clear. The direction is clear.
Mon petit, you’ve given me the most marvelous gift today that anyone could give!
(Laughter) It has nothing to do with me, Mother!
But it chose today, your birthday, to come. That’s clear.
So then, you’ll come a little before 3 o’clock for Sunil’s music. (Turning to Sujata) Naturally, if she wants to, she can come!
We are happy together at your feet, Mother.
Yes, she complements you well.
(Satprem puts his forehead on Mother’s knees)
November 10, 1971
Well, do you have anything?
I have something, but what about you?
Me ... for the moment.... (Mother seems tired) I don’t know if something will come later.
The consciousness [of the body] is changing very fast.
I’ll see later if something comes.
Tell me first what you have.
An Auroville story.
Auroville? What happened?
A few days ago I received a letter from a young man who is an architect there, Z (I don’t know him). He wrote me saying that he would like to see me.
Because he would like to explain to me Auroville’s problems. So I replied: “Auroville’s problems will be solved and cleared up only when Aurovillians turn directly to Mother, and hence I wish they would go directly to the Source instead of going to an intermediary.” Then I added amicably that I could nevertheless ... etc.
You did well.
He has an idea of how to make the Matrimandir, and others have another idea, but then R. [the architect] is going to arrive soon – I would like to wait for R. to be here, and he will decide.
Because he wrote me a second letter, saying, “I agree that one must turn to the Source, which is the ‘stable and welcoming’ reference, but unfortunately one doesn’t have direct access to the Source, one has to go through intermediaries....”
(Mother nods her head)
So there are some problems, and he has explained one of them in his letter to me.
Tell me what it is.
For example, he says he wrote you a month ago, in October, and you answered him in writing. He wrote you this: “I have made a detailed study of the work to be done, and I have reached the conclusion that we [Aurovillians] can take upon ourselves the responsibility for the excavation and construction work of the four pillars; then a commercial firm such as EEC [I don’t know what it is, it’s in Madras, I think] would agree to take over the construction of the Matrimandir itself ..., etc. It therefore appears that the work of the Aurovillians is not an obstacle to the rest of the work being handled by a specialized firm....” Then you answered, “That’s very good, I am fully in agreement. The safety and solidity of the work should come BEFORE PERSONAL QUESTIONS. I am counting on you to see that everything goes harmoniously.”
And then I realized.... Afterwards, the others told me that he had written that without consulting them.
And he tells me he did it “after consultation with about 50 Aurovillians.”
No.... Listen, those things are enough to drive anyone crazy!
In a nutshell he wants the work to be handled by the Aurovillians, without barring the participation of experts.
But that’s how it is. It will be that way. That’s what I said; but when it comes to the actual execution.... I advise you not to get involved in this!
Oh, but I don’t intend to at all!
Yes, they’re.... It’s pretty complicated!
I’ll simply tell him to wait for R.’s return and that the decision will be made then.
Yes. But the decision has been made – I don’t know, I thought they were already working.
The “official” decision is that a firm in Madras will do the work.
Not all the work. We have asked the Aurovillians to be there – exactly as he puts it.
Well, because he says he is ready even to undertake the foundation work for the pillars.
Oh, no! That’s.... Look, tell him that R. will soon arrive and everything will be decided when he’s here.
But I really don’t want to get involved in their problems!
Well, no!... Did you see the sentence in my letter – there are also personal questions behind. He is not saying it, but that’s what it is. He’s hoping to find someone (Satprem) who will give him the authority, you understand?
Yes, I think he is.
So just tell him what I said.
I don’t know if I’m right or wrong, but for a very long time I’ve made it sort of my duty to see all those people, to receive them whenever they wanted. So I used to see lots of people....
Either from Auroville or the Ashram, or French or Germans.... I have seen lots of them – anyone who came to the tennis court could see me. I did that for several years. And then I don’t know, all of a sudden I completely stopped. I said I wouldn’t see anyone anymore.... I don’t know if I was right. Because sometimes, I feel it would perhaps be good, it might help people, but on the other hand I have the feeling that ... it’s not the solution.
From your personal point of view, you were quite right.
Yes, but then I wonder if it isn’t egoistic?
No, mon petit! Sri Aurobindo used to tell me, “The Divine is the supreme egoist!” (Mother laughs and everyone laughs.)
There’s something I wanted to read to you, but ... (Mother looks among the papers beside her, without success).
The external circumstances have become intensified, as if there were a pressure, you know; so the equilibrium in which things were being kept is totally demolished. There’s a kind of hatred against the Ashram....
But the Ashram needs to be purified, Mother!
Yes, oh, yes! (Mother nods vigorously) That’s exactly it, I know!
As a matter of fact I wondered if there wouldn’t be a new attack on the Ashram, just to purify it.
They had organized one [against the “Sri Aurobindo University”].
So, of course, we are being accused of all sorts of things which are absolutely untrue, but.... It’s published in the newspapers. Although that is.... That’s it, one feels the need for a growing sincerity.
All those who are like this (vacillating gesture) must make a choice.
But all those people who are doing business here, do they really bring you something, or are they just after their own gain?
Yes. Some of them bring me a lot. Some bring me nothing, and some simply look after their own gain.
Well, yes, that’s the point.
They simply use the name of the Ashram for their business.
Yes, but they aren’t the largest ones.
Well, obviously each of them – each one – needs purification.... Some have a lot to do, some have only a little. But very few have completely ... remained in the true spirit.
There was a sentence in one of my “Notes,” I was wondering if it should be left in.
I don’t remember now.... It’s the sentence where I speak of the Power.
... becoming overwhelming?
Yes. And then I gave two examples.
Yes, curing people and going over to the other side.
Yes, but then regarding going over to the other side, I wondered if people weren’t going to think that I purposely killed people! – It would be better perhaps not to put it.
Or is it clear?
Obviously, one can deduce anything, Mother.
Yes. But since people are so ill-disposed....
But then one would have to stop talking altogether.
There’s also a sentence by Sri Aurobindo which I always remember, where he said, “When God ... (these are not the exact words) when God bids you to kill, you must kill.”
That can be wrongly interpreted too.
Oh, I should think so!
But then everything can be twisted, everything!
Well, let’s just leave it [Mother’s sentence], never mind....
A word or two would be enough to say “those who want to leave” – that it’s the choice of the one who leaves. That’s all. That indication would be enough.
I can see at the Press if it isn’t too late.
Just add a word like that. It’s rather “to help them leave” than “against their will” (!).
As you say, one with a straight mind will understand, but.... Only the twisted ones – and you can’t do anything about that, they’ll always do it. But it’s better not to give them too many opportunities.
There’s something interesting, I don’t know if you know this. The government of Orissa before was completely for Sri Aurobindo, and they were very faithful. Then there was a terrible cyclone that came straight at them, but it was deflected, went to Bengal [East-Pakistan] instead and killed an enormous number of people (that was last year, I think). Then, the government of Orissa changed. They’ve become aggressive, dark, just the opposite. They’ve turned against Sri Aurobindo. And this time, a few days ago, the cyclone struck and did terrible damage....
Some have understood.
On the other hand, naturally, some say, “How come? Last time you protected us and this time ...” – they don’t understand. But those who understand have very clearly seen the difference.
There are interesting things. But you have the feeling of being, you know (gesture of instability), on the edge of a cliff – you mustn’t make a single false step.
As if the Consciousness were putting pressure on circumstances so they become more definite and clear. Only, then, it’s the end of peace and tranquility.
But also, under that pressure, the consciousness [Mother’s physical consciousness] is becoming clearer and clearer, and realizes how much work we have to do for everything in the being to be in tune with the Divine alone, oh!... One sees – sometimes I spend almost the whole night seeing all the things that have to change their attitude, things you thought were fine, which you didn’t worry about. Now you can see. Compared with what should be, there remains so much to be done....
(Mother goes within)
November 13, 1971
corrected sentence in the “Notes” of August 28
How was it worded?
“... For another WHO WANTS TO LEAVE, it’s the end, he goes over to the other side.”
It happened again yesterday, I saw the same thing. I was told about a child who was very ill, incurable, and they said he was in terrible pain, he was very miserable – the parents wanted him to pass away. He passed away an hour later. This morning I knew. I thought: Well, it’s like in the “Notes” – either the person himself wants to go, or those who are looking after him find he’s too miserable, and they ask; so instead of suffering for a long time, he leaves. That’s what I meant.
* * *
A little later
It’s really interesting, it’s as if my body were a battlefield between what obstinately wants to stay and what wants to take its place. There are such marvelous moments – glorious moments – and then, a second later, a minute later, such a violent attack! It’s like that. And my body is.... For food, for instance, there are times when I eat without even noticing I am eating, except that everything tastes delicious; and then a second later, I can’t swallow a thing! It’s like this (gesture of tugging from one side or the other). So the only solution I have is to be as QUIET as possible. As soon as I am quiet, it feels better. It’s as if.... All of a sudden you have the impression that you are about to die, and a minute later, it’s ... it’s eternity. Really an extraordinary experience. Extraordinary. Sometimes everything, everything seems so foggy, dark – there’s no hope, no possibility of seeing clearly – and a minute later, everything becomes clear.
And at the moment, it’s like this (swinging gesture). It’s only because my body has faith that – that it can go on.
It’s quite interesting.
When you let the Power flow through without diminishing or distorting it or ... it’s unbelievable! Unbelievably powerful. And a minute later, you feel that the world is so dark and distorted that it’s hopeless. Although perhaps there’s – perhaps – a small beginning of improvement in the proportion.
(Mother goes within
Did you feel anything? What did you feel?
I don’t know.... I was trying to give myself.
(Mother smiles and takes Satprem’s hands) It came very strongly, very strongly, like this (massive gesture falling from above). You were in it.
It’s all right – it’s all right.
Yes (gesture of surrender, hands open), that’s the best thing to do.
Oh, it’s so strong!
November 17, 1971
I had things to tell you, but ... I don’t remember now.
Things about your experiences?
Yes, something like that.
It’s very strange, my whole vision of things has changed.... There were some very significant experiences, a change.... I remember when I noticed it, I thought, “This would be interesting for Satprem to know.” And then, gone.
So totally changed....
I don’t know if you knew this. One day a disciple from Germany saw a blind beggar in the street, sitting (you know how they wear a sign on their chest), and on the sign, in German, “The Order of Sri Aurobindo.” “The order,” what’s the word? Not “command,” no: group.
You mean society?
Yes, that’s it – the order of Sri Aurobindo. So this person asked him, “But there aren’t any beggars in the order of Sri Aurobindo!” And he replied, “Oh, Mother knows very well!” (All this in German naturally.)
There are things like that: people in Canada, America, Germany seem to be receiving communications, instructions. And very precise.
About current events, or what?
Yes, or about their life. It depends. Here [in India], about current events.
But in the radical change of vision you speak of, what makes the difference?
(after a long, smiling silence)
It’s as if the consciousness were not in the same position with respect to things – I don’t know how to say it. So they seem completely different.
I don’t know how to explain it.... The ordinary human consciousness, even in people who are broad-minded and all that, is always at the center, and things are like this (gesture converging from all sides toward a center), you understand. Things exist (words reduce everything), things exist in relation to a center. While here ... (Mother drops a multitude of points throughout space).
Yes, that’s what expresses it the best, I think: in the ordinary human consciousness, you’re at one point and everything exists in its relation to that point of consciousness (same star-shaped gesture). While now, the point no longer exists, so things are selfexistent. The point is no longer the source. That’s the closest (that’s not it, but ...). You see, my consciousness is IN things – it isn’t “something that receives” (it’s much better than that, but I don’t know how to put it into words).
It’s better than that because it isn’t just “in things”: it’s in “something” which is in things and which ... moves them.
I could be flowery; I could say (but that’s not it): it’s no longer one being among other beings, it’s ... it’s the Divine in everything. But that’s not the way I feel it. It’s what moves things or what is conscious in things. “What is conscious”.... It isn’t exactly “governs” because the word “govern” doesn’t convey the right sense – “animates” (not that either, all those words reduce and materialize the experience).
Evidently, it’s a matter of consciousness, but not consciousness as human beings ordinarily have: it’s the QUALITY of the consciousness that has changed.
There’s a phenomenon, for example (among many others), a curious phenomenon: when I am like that, the consciousness in things, in movements, in life, and I eat lunch, the food is ... there’s no effort ... (Mother remains silent). It’s too difficult to say.... I don’t feel “I” am eating, you see, so I am not aware of putting things in my mouth and having to swallow them and....
Yes, I understand.
I can’t say, but the fact is like this: in the new consciousness, I eat very easily, without noticing it, and everything goes very well; as soon as I become conscious in the old consciousness, which means eating, tasting the food, putting it in my mouth – it’s difficult! I have all the trouble in the world not to swallow wrong.
It’s really something new because I don’t know how to describe it.
But then it’s extremely concrete: when I am in that consciousness, my whole lunch is taken effortlessly, without any difficulty; I am given food, I swallow and I don’t notice ... not that I don’t notice it (I have taste, I have everything), but the position is different.
Yes, at that moment it’s part of the universal movement.
No, it’s something which is at once in me and IN THE FOOD, which tastes and takes, but is no longer ... it’s no longer the way it was before, that’s all I can say.
It’s really new.
And it’s particularly noticeable for food, because when I am in that consciousness – which comes as soon as I don’t do anything, as soon as I sit quietly – it isn’t like something that “comes in” (gesture toward a center), it’s like something (expanding gesture) ... which develops, which is free to develop. Well then – then it’s very good. But if I am in the ordinary consciousness and I eat (it’s “time” for a meal), oh, it’s so difficult that I feel it’s going to be impossible to eat anything! And in the other case, it goes down without my even noticing it. And yet I am conscious of what I am eating.
But what I am saying now isn’t it. It’s something else.... You see, the consciousness is still like this (gesture of oscillating from one side to the other). Both are there. So.... But then I can’t find a way to make myself understood, because new words would have to be invented.
That’s increasing from day to day.
It’s like at night: I don’t sleep and I am not awake; I go into a state in which I don’t sleep at all – yet I am not awake. And I don’t know how to describe what it is. And when it’s normal, it could ... it can last indefinitely, there’s no sense of time or fatigue or duration. When the old consciousness comes back, there’s almost unbearable suffering: I am suffocating or I can’t breathe, or it’s a consciousness which shouldn’t be there anymore. So quite naturally and effortlessly, I am in the new state, but if I am drawn into the old consciousness by circumstances, it becomes almost unbearable. You see. And it results in pains in the body or ... a body malfunction. But when I enter the new consciousness, everything takes place quite ... without my even noticing it and without any effort.
That’s all I can say for the moment.
You see, my body is full of pains and malfunctions, but as soon as I go into that state (vast, peaceful gesture) everything is done – time doesn’t exist anymore. Time is endless in the old consciousness, while it doesn’t exist in this one. I don’t know how to describe it.
Being flowery, I would say: the old consciousness is like ... it’s death, it’s as if you were going to die any minute: you suffer, you ... it’s the consciousness that leads to death. And the other one (vast, immutable, smiling gesture) is life ... peaceful life, eternal life. Yes, that’s it.
But it’s not that, you follow, these are just words.
(Mother goes into contemplation)
I can’t express it.
It’s not necessary.
November 20, 1971
(Mother hands Satprem two notes.)
“We are at a moment of transition in the history of the earth. It is a moment only in terms of the eternity of time. But compared to human life this moment is long. Matter is in the process of changing to prepare for a new manifestation; but the human body is not sufficiently plastic and offers resistance. This is why the number of incomprehensible disorders and diseases is increasing and becoming a problem for medical science.
The remedy lies in union with the divine forces which are at work and in a confident and quiet receptivity that facilitates the process.”
November 18, 1971
“Those who want to progress have an exceptional chance; because the transformation begins by opening the consciousness to the working of the new forces; and thus individuals have a unique and marvelous opportunity to open to the divine influence.”
November 20, 1971
* * *
(Then Mother listens to Satprem read a letter
And what about the cardinal who was supposed to come here?
Not a cardinal.
He’s not a cardinal?
No, but he handles millions. He’s a Monsignor.
That means archbishop?
I don’t know, Mother. I just know that he is in charge of an enormous “charity” which has millions, and he gets all his money from women – he has a power over women. A colossal fortune. Were he to turn it to the right side, it would be good.
But he’s a man who is enslaved to his lower nature, I think. He has both an intelligence that would enable him to reach very high and a lower nature ...
And nothing in between.
Because, I had counted a little on his coming here and telling the people at the Mission to keep quiet – they’re a nuisance. They’re creating all sorts of trouble for us (they’re not the only ones, but they’re contributing). So I had hoped he would come here and tell them to keep quiet.
I’ll tell P.L. He can do that; he is a very intimate friend of the cardinal of France, Tisserant. He would just have to say a word to him and it would be taken care of.
There are the Sisters, the ones who have a kind of hospital – they’re very nice, they work very well and take very good care of the people who go there. But the College ... they’ve played a great part in the troubles that took place here. It’s not the Sisters, they’re very nice. It’s the College.
I’ll tell him.
You don’t have any questions?
What about you, what do you say?
I am asking if you have any questions.
There’s a lot of talk of war....
Well, they’ve begun fighting.
No, they haven’t!
They’ve begun fighting; I received a letter yesterday or the day before. They’ve crossed the border [of East Bengal].
You think that means war?
(Mother makes a gesture of not knowing)
This is not the official news. It’s the “combatants” who write me: the general who came here....
November 24, 1971
I always have the impression I had something to tell you....
(Mother tries vainly to remember. Then Satprem goes on to read several letters by Sri Aurobindo, and in particular this one, addressed to a Muslim disciple who wanted to leave the Ashram to practice his religion exclusively, taking with him and against their will his young brother, X, and his sister, Y.)
“... As for X and Y, you have no claim over them and no right to control their thoughts and actions. X is of an age to choose and decide; he can think and act for himself and has no need of you to think and act for him. You are not his guardian, nor Y’s; you are not even the head of the family. On what ground do you claim to decide where he shall go or where he shall stay? Your pretension to have the responsibility for him or her before God is an arrogant and grotesque absurdity. Each one is responsible for himself before God unless he freely chooses to place the responsibility upon another in whom he trusts. No one has the right to impose himself on others as a religious or spiritual guide against their free will. You have no claim at all to dictate to X or Y either in their inner or their outer life. It is again the confusion and incoherence of your mind in its present state that prevents you from recognising these plain and simple facts.
Again, you say that you ask only for the Truth and yet you speak like a narrow and ignorant fanatic who refuses to believe in anything but the religion in which he was born. All fanaticism is false, because it is a contradiction of the very nature of God and of Truth. Truth cannot be shut up in a single book, Bible or Veda or Koran, or in a single religion. The Divine Being is eternal and universal and infinite and cannot be the sole property of the Mussulmans or of the Semitic religions only, – those that happened to be in a line from the Bible and to have Jewish or Arabian prophets for their founders. Hindus and Confucians and Taoists and all others have as much right to enter into relation with God and find the Truth in their own way. All religions have some truth in them, but none has the whole truth; all are created in time and finally decline and perish. Mahomed himself never pretended that the Koran was the last message of God and there would be no other.
God and Truth outlast these religions and manifest themselves anew in whatever way or form the Divine Wisdom chooses. You cannot shut up God in the limitations of your own narrow brain or dictate to the Divine Power and Consciousness how or where or through whom it shall manifest; you cannot put up your puny barriers against the divine Omnipotence. These again are simple truths which are now being recognised all over the world; only the childish in mind or those who vegetate in some formula of the past deny them.
You have insisted on my writing and asked for the Truth and I have answered. But if you want to be a Mussulman, no one prevents you. If the Truth I bring is too great for you to understand or to bear, you are free to go and live in a half-truth or in your own ignorance. I am not here to convert anyone; I do not preach to the world to come to me and I call no one. I am here to establish the divine life and the divine consciousness in those who of themselves feel the call to come to me and cleave to it and in no others. I am not asking you and the Mother is not asking you to accept us. You can go any day and live either the worldly life or a religious life according to your own preference. But as you are free, so also are others free to stay here and follow their own way....”
23 October 1929
* * *
(In another letter, Sri Aurobindo replies to a journalist who wanted to bring out, 27 years later, an article on “The Ideal of the Karmayogin.” This book is made up of a series of political articles written by Sri Aurobindo between 1909 and 1910 when he was leading the struggle against the British.)
“Yes, I have seen it, but I don’t think it can be published in its present form as it prolongs the political Aurobindo of that time into the Sri Aurobindo of the present time. You even assert that I have ‘thoroughly’ revised the book and these articles are an index of my latest views on the burning problems of the day and there has been no change in my views in 27 years (which would surely be proof of a rather unprogressive mind). How do you get all that? My spiritual consciousness and knowledge at that time was as nothing to what it is now – how would the change leave my view of politics and life unmodified altogether?...”
21 April 1937
That is very important. That is very important.
I knew it, but no one believed me! He had completely changed his point of view.
I am glad.
November 27, 1971
So, how are you?
I have some notes that can be used for February – things I said.
(Mother hands a piece of paper to Satprem)
“A victory won over the lower nature will give a deeper and more lasting joy than any outer success.”
And then this (Mother hands another paper). This is an experience I had yesterday ... (Mother smiles with her eyes closed). All of a sudden I saw – I saw the world in another way. For a moment, all of a sudden I saw as ... as the Divine sees the world, you understand? There was no longer the human vision. And I saw something so marvelous.... It was so marvelous I can’t describe it. Then slowly the human consciousness came back and ... oh! (Mother takes her forehead in her hands)
“The Divine has an equal love for all human beings, but it is the obscurity of consciousness of most men which prevents them from perceiving this divine love....”
I said it, and then the experience came, the experience I just told you:
“... Truth is wonderful. It is in our perception that it is distorted.”
Yes, as if all of a sudden.... For a few moments I saw the world as the Divine sees it. It’s.... There are no words, it’s inexpressible. Then I understood. Everything became clear, clear, clear....
You remember, I had told you that the Divine wanted the individual consciousness to have the experience of the Divine; well that was it. That was it, it was the individual consciousness (since I became conscious of it) seeing the world.... All of a sudden the world became what it is for the Divine.... It is indescribable.
Obviously it has to begin with the consciousness, and afterwards, little by little, things will become such, meaning, become aware of themselves such as the Divine is aware of them.
Do you feel better, mon petit?
A little, Mother.
You have a cold?... Do you want to be quiet, does this tire you?
No, no, Mother, it doesn’t tire me at all; listening to you certainly doesn’t tire me!
* * *
(A little later,
Satprem reads several letters
(Question:) Somebody told X that Sri Aurobindo brought about the Russian revolution through Lenin. X told Y that people here were over-credulous and believed such things. Y said that if it is possible to cure dangerous diseases of the body by Yogic power, why should it not be possible to act on the mind of another person and pour in him immense vital force which can bring about such results as the Russian revolution?
(Answer:) The statement made to X was not quiet correct; it is putting things in too physical a form. A spiritual and occult working supplies forces and can watch over the members of the execution of a world event, but to put it like that makes the actual workers too much of automata which they are not.
25 January 1937
At any rate, Sri Aurobindo doesn’t deny that he did something!
No! (Mother laughs.)
Do you want to be quiet a little?
Yes, Mother, but I would like to ask you something. Through Sujata you told me that I should write something for Indian radio.
Yes, they asked for something. They want it in French. There’s no one who can write in French.
What do you want me to write?
I don’t remember now what they asked.
The radio station wants someone to speak on “Sri Aurobindo and brotherhood or human unity.”
Yes, that’s what they said.
Is that what you want?
Yes.... It’s not for Pondicherry. They’re going to send it to Delhi, and Delhi is going to send it to all the French-speaking countries everywhere in the world. It will be a worldwide communication for Sri Aurobindo’s centenary. They want to broadcast it everywhere – wherever French is spoken.
In that case, don’t you think it would be more to the point to take a more general subject: to say what Sri Aurobindo represents?
I think you can do that, they weren’t very precise. Did they say how much time?
Ten minutes is nothing.
It’s long! Ten minutes is long!
Yes, that’s better, a theme that can interest the whole world.
Basically what would be good is to say, “Sri Aurobindo came to tell the world the beauty of the future to come.” And then, explain it.
“He came to give – not a hope: a certitude of the splendor towards which the world is moving....” That’s exactly all the experiences I’ve had recently. And I see Sri Aurobindo’s letters, that’s what he says. “The world is not an unhappy accident, it is a marvel moving towards its expression.”
And then give all the quotations from Sri Aurobindo on the subject.
I think that’s what the world most needs now, a word that gives the sense of what is to be realized – of what will be realized. And then, to awaken in each one the desire to collaborate.
To understand oneself and transmit it to others.
The world needs an assurance of beauty – of the future beauty. And Sri Aurobindo gave the assurance.
Along those lines.
They had asked me that. So I looked and I saw only you could say it – they want it to be spoken. Did you hear yourself when you spoke for me [the last message to the radio station]?
Yes, yes, Mother.
It was very good. It was very clear, and that’s why I thought you could do it.
As you say, Mother, I’ll do it and read it to you.
If it tires you, tell me.
No, no, Mother! I’m very well.
You don’t want to be more comfortable?
I’m very comfortable!
December 1, 1971
Nothing new on your part?
I am becoming a new person.... But....
(Mother goes within)
You see, I am witnessing nature’s transformation. When I have nothing to do and I sit very quiet, it’s very clear. I see three things: the nature being transformed, or rather the new nature, what we can call the supramental way of seeing things (it’s getting clearer and clearer; the memory of the old nature remains but is fading more and more, to such a point that sometimes it’s almost incredible, it seems fantastic to have been like that). Then there’s the physical deterioration that comes with age: for example, the physical inability to do what I used to do, the body getting old. But the aging is PURELY physical, I mean, I sit here all day long and have trouble moving about, things like that, but from the standpoint of perception, consciousness, there’s no diminution. On the contrary, it’s getting clearer and clearer and more and more precise. But, for instance, I have trouble speaking (Mother touches her chest, she is out of breath), it’s hard for me to speak; I can’t speak easily, it’s hard. Things like that. That makes three things.
But when I am very quiet (at night, for instance), the new consciousness becomes clearer and clearer, but words cannot easily express it because ... it’s a kind of ... (how shall I say?) it’s almost as if a new mind were being formed (but not a mental one). And so speech, words ... are a poor means, while the direct communication is getting more and more precise and strong. That’s why I can’t speak. It’s purely physical. But the foundation of the physical poise, I mean the physical health, is changing, that is, it’s being shifted: what used to be the condition of good health is practically gone; it is gradually replaced by another condition, but which isn’t there yet; so everything is in ... (gesture of instability), everything is no longer this, is not yet that. That’s how it is. It’s inexpressible. That’s why I can’t express myself.
Interestingly enough, I notice it in my way of understanding things. For instance, what Sri Aurobindo wrote is VERY different.... It’s a little as if, before, you used to see through a screen and, now, the screen is being lifted – it’s not completely gone yet, but it’s not completely there either.
But, as you see, speaking makes me short of breath – without reason, simply because ... because it’s not natural anymore.
And then, the way of perceiving time and space is becoming very different. It’s completely changing. The notion of time and space, objectivity and subjectivity – whether things are concrete or not -- all that seems to have been ... devices for preparing the consciousness for a new way of being.
The functioning of the consciousness is beginning to be different. But I can’t explain it.
And then, for sight, for instance, sometimes I see more clearly with my eyes closed than with them open, and the vision is the SAME, physical, purely physical vision; but a physical that seems ... more complete, I don’t know what words to use. For instance, when I write; sometimes with my eyes closed I see what I write or see the same thing, but I see it ... (what shall I say?... I could be wordy, but I don’t like that). You know, it’s as if what you see were more complete, yet it’s the same thing, but containing more than the purely physical vision.
I write birthday cards, and Sri Aurobindo.... I was about to say I have the feeling that Sri Aurobindo makes me write, but it’s not like that, it’s much better than that!... But when I start to write, for example, I close my eyes, and I see better what I am writing. Champaklal asks me to sign the cards, and he tells me that I sometimes write 3 or 4 cards in a row with my eyes completely closed, then my handwriting is much straighter and much more where the writing should be.
But there’s no personal will involved, no personal effort, it’s ... it’s spontaneous. So....
And then, there is a kind of “something” that has been formed in the body to replace the mind, which is gone. This “something” has its mental ways of saying things, but it’s very imperfect. For it, mental perceptions seem so thin, like a husk, the husk of something – so dry, with no real life behind them.
But the main trouble is in speaking (Mother touches her chest). I don’t know, I have the same trouble eating. I don’t think it’s the result of age because I feel strong: I feel strength, it’s not that I am tired, I don’t at all feel tired – it’s ... a change. But then my age gives it a semblance of reason. Well (laughing) I don’t know if it was these last few days (yesterday or the day before), all of a sudden I understood, as if Sri Aurobindo made me understand that it has come at this advanced age to give the semblance of reason, in order to ... to assure me the utmost peace possible in my relations with people.
I can’t explain it.
Things are essentially what they are supposed to be, but the problem is this human consciousness, which is so ... (what’s the word?), so thin: it lacks something, which prevents us from seeing things as they really are, or feeling them as they really are.
As for hearing, I’ve noticed one thing: for instance, someone may tell me something in a very loud voice, making a lot of noise – I understand NOTHING; while other times, a noise that others don’t hear I hear very clearly.... I need a certain CONSCIOUS atmosphere in order to hear, and that atmosphere is not perceived by most people.
December 4, 1971
(On December 2, eight months after the bloody repression in Bangladesh, India launched a general offensive against the Pakistani troops.)
So they’ve declared war.
Yes, it’s done.
It began, yes, yesterday.
The ministers in Delhi have made a brochure on Sri Aurobindo, and they asked me for a message. I sent it in English. This (Mother hands a text) is the French.
“Sri Aurobindo est venu annoncer au monde un glorieux avenir et a ouvert la porte sur son accomplissement.”
Will they go to the end this time, without stopping halfway?
Don’t know.... It seems serious.
We get news from the front (from a general who is at the front), but this morning, I think, the news was broadcast on the radio. They could tell you exactly.
Well, I know that. What I’m hoping is that for August 15, ’72, Pakistan will disintegrate.
Oh, that would be nice!... It’s quite soon.
Do you have anything?
No, Mother.... The trouble is that the people in power in India have not yet acknowledged in their consciousness that India is ONE; they have not yet acknowledged the nonexistence of Pakistan, that’s the trouble.
* * *
(A little later, Mother listens to Satprem read various letters of Sri Aurobindo, then a letter she herself wrote in English during World War II about the attitude of the disciples toward Hitler and the Allies.)
May 25, 1941
“The world situation is critical today. India’s fate too is hanging in the balance. There was a time when India was a absolutely secure, there was no danger whatever of her being victim to Asuric aggression. But things have changed. People and forces in India have acted in such a way as to invite Asuric influences upon her: these have worked insidiously and undermined the security that was there.
If India is in danger, Pondicherry cannot be expected to remain outside the danger zone. It will share the fate of the rest of the country. The protection I can give is not unconditional. It is idle to hope that in spite of anything and everything, the protection will be there over all. My protection is there if conditions are fulfilled. It goes without saying that any sympathy or support for the Nazis (or for any ally of theirs) automatically cuts across the circle of protection. Apart from this obvious and external factor, there are more fundamental psychological conditions which demand fulfillment. The Divine can give protection only to those who are whole-heartedly faithful to the Divine, who live truly in the spirit of sadhana and keep their consciousness and preoccupation fixed upon the Divine and the service of the Divine. Desire, for example, insistence on one’s likes and conveniences, all movements of hypocrisy and insincerity and falsehood, are great obstacles standing in the way of the Divine’s protection. If you seek to impose your will upon the Divine, it is as if you were calling for a bomb to fall upon you. I do not say that things are bound to happen in this way; but they are very likely to happen, if people do not become conscious and strictly vigilant and act in the true spirit of a spiritual seeker. If the psychological atmosphere remains the same as that of the outside world, there can be no wall of security against the dark Forces that are working out in it the ordeal of danger, suffering and destruction entering here.”
I would say it is terribly to the point!
Exactly what I was seeing now.... If it were from Sri Aurobindo, I would say publish it.
It seems to me that, given the present circumstances, your letter ought to be published.
I could have written it now.
Shall we publish it now, in the next “Bulletin,” with your comment “It is terribly to the point”?
In the Bulletin? But we’ve never spoken of politics in the Bulletin.
But this isn’t politics. It’s the world situation!
(Mother laughs) You’d say it was written now. In February then, all right.
Mother, is the present upheaval going to affect your work of personal transformation?
That, I don’t know.
I remember Sri Aurobindo said that the Second World War had in fact interrupted the work of transformation.
Yes, it’s true.
Is this ...?
We’ll see. I don’t know.
Someone (someone who knew nothing about the news announced on the radio) had a dream last night, and in the dream she saw armies going off to war (she didn’t know war was coming, she’s totally out of things), Indian armies going off to war – and when she looked at them, she saw that each soldier had my face.
She sent word to me this morning and she didn’t even know war had been declared.
For the moment it’s not disturbing. But we’ll see.
Sujata says that her impression is that the transformation is now so stable, the basis is so well established, that no matter what happens, it can no longer be disrupted.
I have somewhat that impression too, but....
And perhaps that’s why the war was so delayed....
... To wait for everything to be really very stable.
Possible. Oh, more and more I live in a ... it’s more than a conviction – it’s a positive certitude that things are the result of the Divine Wisdom.
Even when you fall flat on your face?
Even when you fall flat on your face – it’s the best thing that could have happened to you.
Even when you make a mistake?
Even when you make a mistake.... You see, there are several types of mistake. I don’t know how to explain it.... I’ve also seen that this very impression of making a mistake, or being the victim of an accident, or any of that is necessary – the impression is necessary in you so that everything turns out exactly as it should. Except those who have (what’s the word?) the destiny or role of seeing the Truth and living the Truth, which they do in any case.... I don’t know how to explain it.
I could say that my physical capacity has been greatly diminished by age, but I see why that’s so, why it had to wait for this advanced age.
Yes, that I too understand, because had it happened to you at thirty, say, no one would have understood the physical ordeal you are going through – because it’s as if the body had to die in order to get to the other side....
Oh, yes. Yes indeed. Oh, how well my body knows that!
So had that happened to you when you were young, no one would have understood....
While now, they’re putting the blame on age.
Yes, they’re putting the blame on age.
So it seems reasonable that way!
My body is like this (Mother opens her hands): “What You want....” – but not even, not even with words.
Yes, everything is part of the divine plan.
It’s only due to our need to struggle that we say, “This is bad, it is wrong ...”
“... this is an ‘error,’ I’ve made a ‘mistake’” – it’s due to our need to fight.
Yes, exactly, because we MUST fight. And if we did not have that illusion, we would become passive – passive and languid. You know, there’s something in the consciousness now that smiles at everything – I am well aware of it – although I see that physically it is not supposed to be like that yet.
We’re still in the period of struggle.
Now, the body has the conviction that only death can stop its transformation. So it’s impossible. Only some kind of violent death, an “accident” (well...) could stop the transformation, otherwise the work is being done regularly, regularly (gesture of irresistible advance). It’s like that, the body is convinced of it now, that only violence could stop it – but then if that happens, it’s certainly because it had to happen, you see, for some reason ... which it has no desire to know, it doesn’t care a button. But otherwise, as long as it’s here, it knows that the work will go on and on and on ... in spite of everything. That’s it.
December 8, 1971
(Mother gives Satprem a note she has just written.)
Our human consciousness has windows opening on the Infinite. But generally men keep the windows tightly closed. We must open them wide and let the Infinite penetrate us freely to transform us.
Two conditions are required to open the windows.
1. Ardent aspiration. 2. Progressive abolition of the ego.
The divine help is assured to those who set to work sincerely.
* * *
(Mother goes on
looking above Satprem’s head
What did you see?
(Mother shakes her
head negatively several times,
The work being done is constant. And I see now that the body seems to be used as a ... (what?) a connecting point (gesture like a channel going through Mother), like that. But without its even knowing it. Because the action is very vast, you see – very vast and complex – and the consciousness is not aware of all the details: it only feels the Force working, that’s all. And that’s constant, day and night, nonstop.
My nights. I don’t have the impression of sleeping, but time goes by without my noticing it, like that, simply feeling the Forces going through.... But I don’t know what they do – I know they’re going through [Mother] and are focused here or there. But I have no curiosity; just the impressions of being very quiet so the process can go on unhindered – so that nothing creates an obstacle to the passing of the forces at work.
And hour after hour, hour after hour, day after day it’s like that. With the impression that the time goes by unnoticed. Not long, not....
(Mother goes off)
December 11, 1971
(At the start of this conversation, Satprem reads to Mother the text she had asked him to write for Indian radio for Sri Aurobindo’s centenary. This text is included at the end. Then the conversation continues.)
I’d like to ask you something about one of Sri Aurobindo’s aphorisms. When the aphorisms were first published in the “Bulletin,” you had said to omit this one. It’s a rather mysterious aphorism – which I must say I would like to understand correctly. So, since we are going to bring out a complete edition of all the aphorisms, I would like to know if we should publish it or not.... Sri Aurobindo says this:
76 – Europe prides herself on her practical and scientific organisation and efficiency. I am waiting till her organisation is perfect; then a child shall destroy her.
Where did he write that?
In the aphorisms.
Yes, but he didn’t mean to make a book out of them: it was compiled from here and there.
No, no, Mother! Not at all. Sri Aurobindo had a special notebook in which he put the aphorisms one after another.
Oh, he wrote it in the notebook....
And he wrote this one along with the others....
(after a silence)
What did he put in English, at the beginning?
I’d put it in.
But what did he mean?
I don’t know.
Of course, only the power can be destroyed, because the earth isn’t destroyed.
Yes, you don’t destroy the earth, but a civilization can be destroyed.
Well, he says “Europe will be destroyed.”
Yes.... But what child? What child?
(Mother sits absorbed)
Right now, I don’t know.
I have the feeling that it came as something absolutely true, an absolutely true prediction – but I don’t know.
Earlier you had said it was better to omit it.
But now, on the contrary, my impression is that it SHOULD be said.
But I don’t think the time has come yet – I mean “come” for the realization; the time has come to say it but not for its realization.
“A child ...” maybe it’s the child of the New World?... with a smile, he’ll bring it all down.
Yes, quite possible – quite possible.
It contains a frightening power.... Something staggering.
You can’t imagine the power contained there, it’s really like the Divine Himself saying: “I am waiting”....
He put “I am waiting”?
I’ll see if something comes.
* * *
SRI AUROBINDO AND THE EARTH’S FUTURE
Sometimes a great wandering Thought sees the ages still unaccomplished, seizes the Force in its eternal flow and precipitates upon earth the powerful vision, which is like a power of realizing what it sees. The world is a vision becoming real. Indeed its past and its present are not the result of an obscure impulse coming from the womb of time, of a slow accumulation of sediments which little by little mold us – and stifle us and imprison us. It is the powerful golden attraction of the future which draws us in spite of ourselves, as the sun draws the lotus from the mud, and forces us to a glory greater than any our mud or efforts or present triumphs could have foreseen or created.
Sri Aurobindo is this vision and this power of precipitating the future into the present. What he saw in an instant the ages and millions of men will unwittingly accomplish. Unknowingly they will seek the new imperceptible quiver that has entered the earth’s atmosphere. From age to age great beings come amongst us to hew a great opening of Truth in the sepulchre of the past. And in actuality, these beings are the great destroyers of the past. They come with the sword of Knowledge to shatter our fragile empires.
This year, we are celebrating Sri Aurobindo’s Birth Centenary. He is known to barely a handful of men and yet his name will resound when the great men of today or yesterday are buried under their own debris. His work is discussed by philosophers, praised by poets, people acclaim his sociological vision and his yoga – but Sri Aurobindo is a living ACTION, a Word becoming real, and every day in the thousand circumstances that seem to want to rend the earth and topple its structures we can witness the first reflux of the Force he has set in motion. At the beginning of this century, when India was still struggling against British domination, Sri Aurobindo asserted: “It is not a revolt against the British Government [that is needed].... It is, in fact, a revolt against the whole universal Nature.”
For the problem is fundamental. It is not a question of bringing a new philosophy to the world or new ideas or illuminations, as they are called. The question is not of making the Prison of our lives more habitable, or of endowing man with ever more fantastic powers. Armed with his microscopes and telescopes, the human gnome remains a gnome, pain-ridden and helpless.
We send rockets to the moon, but we know nothing of our own hearts. It is a question, says Sri Aurobindo, “of creating a new physical nature which is to be the habitation of the Supramental being in a new evolution.” For, in actuality, he says, “the imperfection of Man is not the last word of Nature, but his perfection too is not the last peak of the Spirit.” Beyond the mental man we are, there exists the possibility of another being who will be the spearhead of evolution as man was once the spearhead of evolution among the great apes. “If,” says Sri Aurobindo, “the animal is a living laboratory in which Nature has, it is said, worked out man, man himself may well be a thinking and living laboratory in whom and with whose conscious co-operation she wills to work out the superman, the god.” Sri Aurobindo has come to tell us how to create this other being, this supramental being, and not only to tell us but actually to create this other being and open the path of the future, to hasten upon earth the rhythm of evolution, the new vibration that will replace the mental vibration – exactly as a thought one day disturbed the slow routine of the beasts – and will give us the power to shatter the walls of our human prison.
Indeed, the prison is already starting to collapse. “The end of a stage of evolution,” announced by Sri Aurobindo, “is usually marked by a powerful recrudescence of all that has to go out of the evolution.” Everywhere about us we see this paroxysmal shattering of all the old forms: our borders, our churches, our laws, our morals are collapsing on all sides. They are not collapsing because we are bad, immoral, irreligious, or because we are not sufficiently rational, scientific or human, but because we have come to the end of the human! To the end of the old mechanism – for we are on our way to SOMETHING ELSE. The world is not going through a moral crisis but through an “evolutionary crisis.” We are not going towards a better world – nor, for that matter, towards a worse one – we are in the midst of a MUTATION to a radically different world, as different as the human world was from the ape world of the Tertiary Era. We are entering a new era, a supramental Quinary. We leave our countries, wander aimlessly, we go looking for drugs, for adventure, we go on strike here, enact reforms there, foment revolutions and counterrevolutions. But all this is only an appearance; in fact, unwittingly, we are looking for the new being. We are in the midst of human evolution.
And Sri Aurobindo gives us the key. It may be that the sense of our own revolution escapes us because we try to prolong that which already exists, to refine it, improve it, sublimate it. But the ape may have made the same mistake amid its revolution that produced man; perhaps it sought to become a super-ape, better equipped to climb trees, hunt and run, a more agile and clever ape. With Nietzsche we too sought a “superman” who was nothing more than a colossalization of man, and with the spiritualists a super-saint more richly endowed with virtue and wisdom. But human virtue and wisdom are useless! Even when carried to their highest heights they are nothing more than the old poverties gilded over, the obverse of our tenacious misery. “Supermanhood,” says Sri Aurobindo, “is not man climbed to his own natural zenith, not a superior degree of human greatness, knowledge, power, intelligence, will, ... genius, ... saintliness, love, purity or perfection.” It is SOMETHING ELSE, another vibration of being, another consciousness.
But if this new consciousness is not to be found on the peaks of the human, where then, are we to find it? Perhaps, quite simply in that which we have most neglected since we entered the mental cycle, in the body. The body is our base, our evolutionary foundation, the old stock to which we always return, and which painfully compels our attention by making us suffer, age and die. “In that imperfection,” Sri Aurobindo assures us, “is the urge towards a higher and more many-sided perfection. It contains the last finite which yet yearns to the Supreme Infinite.... God is pent in the mire ... but the very fact imposes a necessity to break through that prison.” That is the old, uncured Illness, the unchanged root, the dark matrix of our misery, hardly different now from what it was in the time of Lemuria. It is this physical substance which we must transform, otherwise it will topple, one after another, all the human or superhuman devices we try to graft on it. This body, this physical cellular substance contains “almighty powers,” a dumb consciousness that harbors all the lights and all the infinitudes, just as much as the mental and spiritual immensities do. For, in truth, all is Divine and unless the Lord of all the universe resides in a single little cell he resides nowhere. It is this original, dark cellular Prison which we must break open; for as long as we have not broken it, we will continue to turn vainly in the golden or iron circles of our mental prison.
“These laws of Nature,” says Sri Aurobindo, “that you call absolute ... merely mean an equilibrium established to work in order to produce certain results. But, if you change the consciousness, then the groove also is bound to change.”
Such is the new adventure to which Sri Aurobindo invites us, an adventure into man’s unknown. Whether we like it or not, the whole earth is moving into a new groove, but why shouldn’t we like it? Why shouldn’t we collaborate in this great, unprecedented adventure? Why shouldn’t we collaborate in our own evolution, instead of repeating endlessly the same old story, instead of chasing hallucinatory paradises which will never quench our thirst or otherworldly paradises which leave the earth to rot along with our bodies? “Why be born if it is to get out at the end?” exclaims the Mother, who continues Sri Aurobindo’s work. “What is the use of having struggled so much, suffered so much, of having created something which, in its outer appearance at least, is so tragic and dramatic, if it is only to learn how to get out of it – it would have been better not to start at all.... Evolution is not a tortuous course that brings us back, somewhat battered, to the starting point. Quite the contrary, it is meant,” says Mother, “to teach the whole of creation the joy of being, the beauty of being, the grandeur of being, the majesty of a sublime life, and the perpetual development, perpetually progressive, of this joy, this beauty, this grandeur. Then everything has a meaning.”
This body, this obscure beast of burden we inhabit, is the experimental field of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga – which is a yoga of the whole earth, for one can easily understand that if a single being among our millions of sufferings succeeds in negotiating the evolutionary leap, the mutation of the next age, the face of the earth will be radically altered. Then all the so-called powers of which we boast today will seem like childish games before the radiance of this almighty embodied spirit. Sri Aurobindo tells us that it is possible – not only possible but that it will be done. It is being done. And perhaps everything depends not so much on a sublime effort of humanity to transcend its limitations – for that means still using our own human strength to free ourselves from human strength – as on a call, a conscious cry of the earth to this new being which the earth already carries within itself. All is already there, within our hearts, the supreme Source which is the supreme Power – only we must call it into our forest of cement, we must understand the meaning of man, the meaning of ourselves. The amplified cry of the earth, of its millions of men and women who cannot bear it anymore, who no longer accept their prison, must open a crack to let the new vibration in. Then all the apparently ineluctable laws that bind us in their hereditary and scientific groove will crumble before the Joy of the “sun-eyed children.” “Expect nothing from death,” says Mother, “life is your salvation. It is in life that you must transform yourself. It is on earth that you progress and on earth that you realize. It is in the body that you win the Victory.”
“Nor let worldly prudence whisper too closely in thy ear,” says Sri Aurobindo, “for it is the hour of the unexpected.”
December 13, 1971
(A note by Mother)
Communications from the psychic do not come in a mental form. They are not ideas or reasonings. They have their own character quite distinct from the mind, something like a feeling with a self-contained meaning and influence.
By its very nature, the psychic is calm, quiet and luminous, understanding and generous, wide and progressive, it is forever striving for understanding and progress.
The mind describes and explains.
The psychic sees and understands.
December 15, 1971
I sent you this note, can it be used for something?
Yes, Mother, certainly.
“Difficult periods come on earth to compel men to overcome their small personal egoism and to turn exclusively to the Divine for help and light. The wisdom of men is ignorant. Only the Divine knows.”
It came imperiously.
What wants Peace and Harmony was in me and.... I was feeling a sort of pressure, and that came. It came imperatively – plain, imperative. Without that, men would never have progressed – they would never progress.
That war is very absorbing.
Yes, it’s day and night, day and night....
Unfortunately you get the impression that in the west [the western front with Pakistan, i.e., Kashmir and Rajasthan], they don’t want to do anything. Indira has declared that India had absolutely no interest in the breakup of Pakistan: “Not at all interested.” They just want to liberate Bangladesh and that’s all.
(Mother sits absorbed for a very long time)
No, it’s late, Mother.
What time is it?
Twenty-two past eleven.
Twenty-two past ten.
No, twenty-two past eleven!
This war is.... I am busy all the time, all the time.
We get letters from the front; several generals and high-ranking officers say they feel my presence all the time. And it’s true, I am busy all the time.
Did they tell you that the Americans are there with their “nuclear ship”?
They’re not there yet, it seems. It’s not quite sure – they’ve sent it, but it’s not quite sure.
They’re completely mad.
Yes, that would be a disaster.
They’re mad – and stupid.
Yes. That president should be toppled.
Oh, yes! Yes.
The one they want to put in his place is a friend of India. But no one likes that ... [Nixon], only a minority supports him – not everyone.
They should just ... (gesture of sweeping clean).
Can’t you arrange that?
(Mother laughs a lot)
... I am constantly busy.
December 18, 1971
Good morning! Here, I was going through my handkerchiefs the other day, and kept three for you!
How are you? What’s news?
Well, they’ve stopped fighting in the west....
(Mother nods her head)
Which means it’s not the end of the problem.
Again it won’t be for this time.
It won’t be done that way. I’ve seen how. It won’t be done through a battle: the different parts of Pakistan will demand separation. There are five of them. And by separating, they’ll join India – to form a sort of confederation. That’s how it will be done.
It will break up from within, yes, I see.
That’s right. That’s how it will be done.
I saw it, I don’t remember what day (recently), all of a sudden, for several hours there was a contact with the Divine Power and Vision – it was ... it was magnificent, things became extraordinary; then, immediately the next day, all the news changed. Really extraordinary. What actually took place isn’t what I saw, for it was seen years ahead.... But that doesn’t matter, it’s all right.
(Sujata comes in
These are my handkerchiefs!
We’re always in a hurry, because life on earth is short, but when you see what is in the offing ... (vast, circular gesture). Really beautiful, much better! It takes more time, but it’s much better.
One of the things in the offing is the conversion of America, the United States, but it will take time.
The conversion of the United States.
Already, most of the country is against that president, but it has to become strong enough for that ... particular policy to disappear.
In a word, as always, it has to go to absurd lengths for people to understand how false it is.
Do you have anything?
Nothing.... Maybe some personal questions.
I have the impression that for about a year now there has been no creative force coming into me – no inspiration and no creative force. I was speaking about it with Sujata a few days ago, and she had a vision: she saw something like two enormous silver doors – which were closed. So I don’t know, I wonder what that means. Why that closure?
(after a silence)
Well, for some time there’s been much more insistence on personal transformation than on creation, for you. I have seen that. And it seems to me of capital importance, you understand?... There’s a special insistence on personal transformation. Which means that, when that is done, the creative work will be of a much, MUCH higher order.
So, I shouldn’t worry?
No, not at all. On the contrary.
Really, to put it childishly, the Divine Wisdom is far greater than ours. I perceive that constantly. We have a very short view of things – very short and limited. While the Divine Wisdom is.... You get such a feeling of not knowing anything when you compare your way of seeing to the Divine’s way of seeing (I am putting it rather childishly).
Yes, but practically, there are two possible attitudes with respect to the creative force: either to be completely passive and wait (but then, isn’t that passivity simply a kind of inertia?), or else do as those who create do, that is, call the Force and pull it down. In other words, they actively intervene to create.
There is a third attitude. It’s the best. To be very attentive; rather than being passive and inert, to be very attentive and alert. And then, to feel when the Impulsion to do something comes, and to do it. I have put that into practice these last few days, and that’s the solution. You see, the difficulty lies in having action WITHOUT the personal limitations – they are inextricably bound up in our consciousness, and the passivity you speak of is there to separate the two; but once you have ... I don’t know, the perception or sensation of the state in which you are completely open to the Divine Impulsion, then you can allow action to take place again. And that is the solution.
It’s very difficult to explain, but I’ve had the experience recently (yesterday or the day before, it’s very recent), the experience of an attitude of unmixed receptivity – unmixed with any personal activity – an activity whose impulse comes only from the Divine (I had this in connection with the war, the current events, and that’s how I understood). But it’s beyond words.
So, the things in the offing are a federation of all the states of India, and another one in the offing is the conversion of the United States. A federation of the states of India along the lines of The Ideal of Human Unity, as conceived and explained by Sri Aurobindo. And the conversion of the United States is in the same idea, just according to Sri Aurobindo’s revelation. But that will take time.
It came in an imperative way.
Also I heard something Sri Aurobindo wrote, where he says that in order for the Supermind to manifest on earth, the physical mind has to receive and manifest it. And the physical mind, I mean the bodily mind, mine, is precisely the only one I have left now. And so it came to me very clearly that that is why that one alone was left. And it is being converted very rapidly and interestingly. The physical mind is developing under the supramental influence. And it’s just what Sri Aurobindo wrote, that it was indispensable so the Supermind could manifest on earth in a permanent way.
So all’s well – it’s not easy! (Mother laughs) But all is well.
Yes, that’s just the problem I wondered about. You say that for me, for instance, the insistence is on personal transformation – well, I saw something (“I saw” – well, anyway I felt something), I felt that the transformation (of the lower nature, for example) is not really possible unless a sort of radical change of position in the consciousness takes place, or a change of vision....
... unless things and people are seen differently.
But then I wonder how it’s possible.
That way it’s possible.
But it has to be pretty radical.
But it is radical, mon petit! You can’t imagine, it’s like.... I could really say I’ve become another person. Only this (Mother indicates the appearance of her body) is still like this, the same as it was.... To what extent will it be able to change? Sri Aurobindo said that if the physical mind is transformed, the body’s transformation will follow quite NATURALLY. We’ll see.
But could you give me a key or a lever to effect the radical change?
Ah, I don’t know, because for me everything was simply taken away – the mind is completely gone. If you like, in appearance I had become an idiot, I didn’t know anything. And it’s the physical mind that developed, slowly, slowly.
In my case, I don’t know, the work was done for me – I did nothing. That’s how it was done, very radically. It could be done because I was VERY conscious of my psychic (the psychic being which was formed through all the lives), I was very conscious of it, and it remained; it remained and enabled me to deal with people without its making any difference, thanks to that psychic presence. That’s why there were very few apparent changes. So I can speak only of what I know, and I’ll say this: the psychic has to remain very much in command of the whole being – the whole bodily being – guiding the life, then the mind has time to be transformed. Mine was simply sent away.
You see, the transformation of the bodily mind was indispensable because that’s the only one I had left, you follow?... Very few people would accept that. (Laughing) In my case, it was done without asking my opinion! The work was very easy.
That’s exactly what happened.
I wish something drastic would happen to me....
For instance, I was thinking (it’s childish), but I was thinking the other day: if I could just see with Sri Aurobindo’s eyes....
Instead of seeing through my eyes, let me see things through his eyes.
But it wasn’t his physical eyes. It wasn’t his physical eyes.
I wish it could be like that. But is it possible?
You mean to see with Sri Aurobindo’s consciousness?
Yes, that’s right. But to see people, things, circumstances PHYSICALLY, that way.
It’s possible. It’s possible.... But would you accept what happened to me, that is, the individual, the person feels itself absolutely stupid?
Oh, I’m ready!
You wouldn’t despair?
No, no. Absolutely not.
You see, what’s taking root permanently, as it were, is this: the nonentity of the person – the absolute nonentity and incapacity. And then you’re ... you’re fine; you’re quite naturally like a child, you say to the Divine, “Do everything for me” (there’s nothing left, so you can’t do anything!), then everything goes well immediately – immediately.
You see, the body has given itself entirely. It even said to the Divine, “I beg You to make me want my dissolution if I must die,” so that EVEN THERE I won’t offer any resistance, should it be necessary for this body to die – to want my dissolution. That’s its attitude, it was like this (gesture of open hands). But instead, there came a sort of ... (I could put it into words, but it wasn’t words): “If you accept suffering and discomfort, transformation is better than dissolution.” And so when it feels uncomfortable, it accepts.
It’s not like that; what I say is [inadequate]. It’s not really like that, but it’s hard to explain. It’s really a new attitude and a new sensation, I can’t express it.
And for each one obviously it must be different.... For me it was very radical – I didn’t have any choice, you understand: it was like that, and that’s that.
But we truly have to.... What made things easy is that the psychic consciousness was completely in the forefront and ruling the life, so it just went on quietly without being concerned with the rest.
It’s like sight and hearing, I’ve noticed that it’s not a physical deterioration: it’s simply that I understand and hear people only when they think clearly what they say. And I see only what is ... what expresses the inner life, otherwise things are ... hazy or veiled. It’s not that my eyes don’t see, it’s “something,” it’s something else – everything is new.
It was what Sri Aurobindo told me when I asked to leave (we both knew one of us had to go); I immediately said to him, “I will go.” And he said no, he told me, “Your body is much more capable than mine of bearing the work of transformation.” Sri Aurobindo told me that. And so it accepted, but....
It’s true, the body has to be VERY goodwilled – it so happens that mine is; and it’s not a mental goodwill, of course, it’s really a bodily goodwill. It accepts, it accepts all the drawbacks.... But the attitude is important, not the consequences (I am convinced that the drawbacks are not indispensable), it’s the attitude that is important. It has to be like this (gesture of open hands), you see. Truly I have noticed that in most cases, surrender to the Divine does not mean trust in the Divine – because when you surrender to the Divine, you say, “Even if You make me suffer, I surrender,” but that’s an absolute lack of trust! That’s really amusing, surrender DOES NOT IMPLY trust; trust is something else, it’s ... a kind of knowledge – an unshakable knowledge, which nothing can disturb – it’s WE who change into difficulties, suffering, misery what is ... perfect peace in the Divine Consciousness. It’s we who create that little “transformation.”
And I had some extraordinary examples.... It would take hours to describe.
But it’s really the consciousness that must change – and even the consciousness OF THE CELLS, you understand?... That, that’s a radical change.
And there are no words to express it, because it didn’t exist on earth – it was latent, but it wasn’t manifested.
All words ... miss the mark, that’s never quite it.
If you like, I could say that at each minute you feel you can either live eternally or die (gesture of a slight tilt from one side to the other). Every minute is like that. And the difference [between the two] is so slight that you can’t say: Do this and you’ll be on this side, do that and you’ll be on the other – not possible. It’s a way of being almost beyond description.
When did you come to the Ashram?
Seventeen years ago, Mother.
Did you see Sri Aurobindo?
On the 24th of November? When?
I don’t remember now when I saw him, but it was in 1947.
Oh, in 1947 – three years....
I saw him only once.
Did you feel anything?
Your force very much. The Force very much, yes.
(Mother shakes her head no)
It’s such an extraordinary Peace. Don’t you feel it?
Yes, I feel Force, Peace, Power....
But me, when it’s like this, I become aware that there is no time anymore. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s entirely outside of time – it may be a minute, it may be an hour.... Something else.
And you? What do you feel?
For me, Mother, it’s very physical.
Physical – an absolute silence....
... Everywhere, inside, outside.
It’s physical, isn’t it? That’s it, PHYSICAL.
Tensed nerves relax, absolutely.
Yes, that’s it. That’s good. Good.
December 22, 1971
This is my Christmas message:
“The time has come for the rule of falsehood to end.
So, what have you brought?
I have received a brief note from P.L. You had said that the people at the Mission should be “calmed down,” they were creating a lot of difficulty, and you said we could ask P.L. to do something. So he’s done something.
He says this: “I spoke to Cardinal Tisserant about the problem you mentioned. He is writing this very day to the bishop of Pondicherry along the lines you gave me – he is indignant to learn that you are the object of such un-Christian manifestations and feelings. I hope this letter will ‘calm down’ the Mission.”
Oh, they’re not stirring anymore, that must be it. I don’t hear about them anymore. Precisely, I noticed yesterday or the day before that they had grown completely quiet. That must be the reason. So you can tell him that for the moment everyone is quiet, things are all right.
(Mother looks for a paper on the table)
Send him the Christmas message. And then this:
“The red lotus is the flower of Sri Aurobindo, but specially for his centenary we shall choose the blue lotus, which is the colour of his physical aura, to symbolise the centenary of the manifestation of the Supreme upon earth.”
* * *
A little later
I heard (yesterday, I think, or the day before) a letter of Sri Aurobindo’s in which he said that for the Supermind to be fixed here (he had noticed that the Supermind came into him and withdrew, came back and withdrew – it wasn’t stable), so he said: to become stable, it has to enter and settle in the physical mind. And that’s just the work being done in me for months now: the mind has been removed, and the physical mind is taking its place, and for some time I had noticed that it was ... (I told you that it was seeing everything in a different way, that its relationship with things was different), I have been noticing these past few days that the physical mind, the mind that is in the body, was becoming vast, its visions were comprehensive, and its whole way of seeing was absolutely different (Mother extends her arms in an immense, quiet gesture). I saw, that’s it: the Supermind is working there. And I spend extraordinary hours.
What is left is just the things that resist – you feel (I told you this) that it’s as if every minute (and it’s getting more and more pronounced), every minute: do you want life, do you want death; do you want life, do you want death?... That’s how it is. And life is union with the Supreme. And consciousness, a COMPLETELY new consciousness is coming. That’s how it is, like this (Mother makes a gesture of swinging from one side to the other). But yesterday or the day before, I don’t know, all of a sudden the body said, “No! I am through – I want life, I don’t want anything else.” And since then I’ve felt better.
Oh, it would take volumes to narrate what is happening. It’s ... remarkably interesting, and ENTIRELY new. Entirely new.
(Mother goes within)
Because of physical death, the subconscient is defeatist. You see, the subconscient feels that whatever the progress, whatever the effort, it will always end with that, because up until now, it has always ended like that. So then the work now being done is to try to bring faith and the certainty of the transformation into the subconscient. And that ... is a struggle at each second.
(Mother goes back within until the end)
December 25, 1971
Good morning! It’s the festival of Light: Christmas is the festival of the return of the Light – it’s much older than Christianity! – when the days were beginning to grow longer (Mother laughs).
And next Saturday is the first of January. I’ll see you....
I hope that ’72 is going to be better!
(Mother nods her head)
More and more I am convinced that we have a way of receiving things and reacting to them that CREATES difficulties – I am more and more convinced of it. Because, for example, I have rather unpleasant physical and material experiences about food. You know that for a very long time now I have completely stopped being hungry (I eat only to be reasonable, because “one must” eat, otherwise ...), and I have some small difficulty in swallowing, or breathing (ridiculous things), but everything changes depending on whether you pay attention to them or not, depending on an attitude like this (gesture of being focused on oneself) in which you watch yourself living, or an attitude in which you’re (vast gesture) in things, in movement, in life; and a third attitude in which you pay attention only to the Divine. If you succeed in being like that all the time, there are no difficulties – and yet things are the same. That’s the experience: the thing in itself is as it is, but it is our reaction to it that differs. The experience is more and more conclusive. You see, there are three categories: our attitude with respect to things, the things in themselves (those two always give you trouble), and there is a third category in which everything, but everything is in regard to the Divine, in the Consciousness of the Divine – all is marvelous, all is easy! And I am speaking of material things, of the material, physical life (for psychological things, we’ve known it for long), I mean material things like little discomforts of the body, or reactions, feeling pain or not, circumstances going wrong, not being able to swallow your dinner – the most banal things you don’t pay attention to when you’re young and strong and in good health (you don’t pay any attention to them, and it’s like that for everyone), but when you live in the consciousness of your body and what happens to it and its ways of receiving things that come and so on – oh, it’s misery! When you live in the consciousness of others, of what they want, what they need, their relationship with you – it’s misery! But if you live in the Divine Presence and it’s the Divine who does everything, sees everything, is everything ... it’s Peace – it’s Peace, time has no duration, everything is easy and.... Not that you feel joy or feel ... it’s not so ... it’s the Divine who is there. And it’s the ONLY solution. That’s where the world is going: the Consciousness of the Divine – the Divine who does, the Divine who is, the Divine.... So then, the same IDENTICAL circumstance (I am not speaking of different circumstances), the same IDENTICAL circumstance (it’s my experience these last few days, so concrete, you know, so concrete); day before yesterday I was sick as a dog, and yesterday circumstances were the same, my body was in the same state, all was the same and yet ... all was peaceful.
I am thoroughly convinced of that.
If only I didn’t have so much trouble speaking.... That explains everything. It explains everything, all, all.
The world is the same – it is seen and felt in a totally opposite way.
Everything is a phenomenon of consciousness – everything. Only, it is not a matter of this consciousness, or that one, or that other one, that’s not it: it’s our way, the human way of being conscious versus the divine way of being conscious. That’s all. That’s the whole question. And I am thoroughly convinced.
In a word, the world is as it should be at each second.
It’s we who see it wrongly or feel it wrongly or receive it wrongly.
It’s like death, you see. The phenomenon is transitional, but seems to us to have existed forever (it’s forever for us because our consciousness is like this – Mother draws a little square in the air), but when you have that divine consciousness, oh!... things become almost instantaneous, you understand. I can’t explain it.
There IS movement, there IS progression, there IS what is translated for us by time, that exists, it’s something ... something in the consciousness.... It’s hard to express.... It’s like an object and its projection. A little like that. All things ARE, but for us, we see them projected on a screen, as it were: one comes after another. It’s a little like that.
Yes, Sri Aurobindo said that in the supramental consciousness, past, present and future exist side by side on a single map of knowledge.
Yes, that’s it. That’s right. But for me it is an experience. Not something I “think” (I don’t think), but an experience. And hard to explain.
And its effect on us, the sensation it produces in us depends exclusively on the position of our consciousness. There is the consciousness of being in oneself or being in the whole (being in the whole is already a bit better than being egoistically oneself, and it has its advantages and disadvantages, but it’s not the truth), the Truth is ... the Divine as totality – totality in time and totality in space. And that consciousness, the body CAN have, because this body had it (momentarily, for a few moments), and while it has it, everything is so ... you see, it’s not joy, it’s not pleasure, it’s not happiness, nothing of all that ... a sort of blissful peace ... and luminous ... and creative. Magnificent. Only, it comes and goes, comes and goes.... And when you go out of it, you have the impression of falling into a horrible pit – our ordinary consciousness (I mean the ordinary human consciousness) is a horrible pit. But we also know why it had to be momentarily that way, for it was necessary in order to go from this to that: everything that happens is necessary for the full development of the goal of creation. You could say (we could word-paint): the goal of creation is for the creature to become conscious as the Creator. There you are.
It’s word-painting, but it’s in that direction.
This creation’s goal is that Consciousness of the Infinite, the Eternal, which is omnipotent – Infinite, Eternal, Omnipotent (which our religions have called God: for us, with respect to life, it’s the Divine) – Infinite and Eternal, All-Powerful ... outside of time: each individual particle possessing that Consciousness; each individual particle containing that same Consciousness.
Division created the world, and it is in division that the Eternal manifests.
Words are stupid, but that’s how it is. I don’t know if you follow.
With, in addition (and not as a contradiction, but as a complement), the exact sense of what you are supposed to do – what you are supposed to be, what you are supposed to do and why you have been created. And all that TOGETHER ... OH!... (Mother has a blissful smile)
That gives both the reason and the goal of creation – both at once – and almost the method of development.
Yes, it’s like something that IS, that is as a whole and is successively projected on a screen. And yet it exists as a whole – and it is projected successively on a screen.
(Mother goes into contemplation)
I have the impression that I am on the way to discovering ... the illusion that must be destroyed so that physical life can be uninterrupted – discovering that death comes from a ... a distortion of consciousness. That’s it.
It’s this close, you know (Mother makes a gesture as if she were about to grasp the secret).
And as I told you, sometimes I feel that the great number of years makes the work somewhat more difficult, but taken on the whole, it is a GREAT help – I understood that were I young, I could never have done what I am doing. And when I am in the true consciousness, the moment I am in the true consciousness, the number of years is nothing! – The body feels so young, so full of ... something else than young (for it, young is immature and ignorant, it’s not that), it’s ... you’re in communion with “something” ... which changes according to the need.
Our language (or our consciousness) is ... inadequate. Later I’ll be able to say.
Something IS HAPPENING – that’s all I can say. (Mother laughs) Merry Christmas, mon petit!
Merry Christmas to you too.
The festival of Light....
December 27, 1971
(Sujata’s visit to Mother.)
A disciple in America had sent a cartoon published in an American newspaper showing Bangladesh (“East Pakistan”) bloody and gored by the horns of a furious Indian “sacred cow,” equipped with Soviet weapons. When the drawing was shown to Mother by Sujata, she angrily rejected it, sweeping it off her knees: “Take it away.” Then, a few moments later, she asked for the drawing back, took a pen and wrote across the drawing: “This is disgustingly untrue,” the way one performs an occult act to destroy or neutralize something.
December 29, 1971
(A note by Mother in English)
We are at a decisive hour in the history of the earth. The earth is preparing for the advent of the supramental being, and because of this the old way of living loses its value. One must launch oneself consciously on the path of the future in spite of the new exigencies. The pettinesses tolerable at one time are no more so; one must widen oneself to receive that which shall be born.
December 29, 1971
(Mother caresses Satprem’s swollen eye.)
No, no, it really doesn’t hurt, Mother! ... Do you have anything new?
It’s moving – moving fast.
Because it’s moving fast, it’s excessive (gesture of straining).
For example, during the same meal, I eat without even noticing it, solely in the divine consciousness, then all of a sudden I am back – and I can’t swallow anymore! I choke. It’s very extreme, because it’s going so fast. But I know what it is.
I just gave a meditation to X. It is not AT ALL what it used to be ... (what shall I say?). There’s a sort of quiet authority now. But he is receptive.
The Force ... (Mother lowers her hands in an irresistible gesture), ohh! there’s a great change.
I have received a letter from Indira.
(Mother hands an envelope)
Through these critical months I have thought constantly of you. I can find no words with which to express my gratitude for your support. Your blessings are a great source of strength. Our difficulties are not over....
(Mother nods her head)
... The American administration is most upset that its calculations were so completely wrong, and they will use their power to try to humble us and specially to create division between Bangla Desh and ourselves. I think our nation has taken a step towards maturity. Yet there are many who look only to today. If India is to be great we must improve the quality of the minds of our people. I know that this is your desire. In my humble way I am trying to do what I can.
That’s good, indeed.
It’s good. So I replied this:
It’s good she has taken this tack.
Yes, it’s good.
I didn’t think she was like that.
(Mother nods her head)
But there are still many difficulties.
Oh!... Oh!... It’s a scoundrel who’s become the ... [president of Pakistan, Bhutto].
Oh, you mean that one!
Quite a scoundrel. And he’s killing his own people. Some teachers have been executed because they had a different opinion. He’s committing atrocities in his own country.... In a way, it’s what is needed to show the falsehood of the whole thing [the division of Pakistan and India].
And yet Pakistan’s new president is putting up a democratic front.
By killing people!
Several provinces of West Pakistan have revolted against the people he had put in to govern them.
Things are going fast.
I personally feel they’re very grating.
Oh!... It’s going fast. The faster it goes, the more it pulls.
I badly need your help – your active help.
The fastest way for me was ... (how shall I put it?) the growing sense of my own nonentity – nonexistence. To feel I could do nothing, knew nothing, wanted nothing; but then the WHOLE being filled with ... it’s not even an aspiration now, it’s like this (gesture of surrender, hands open), an inescapable fact: “Without the Divine, nothing, nothing – I am nothing, I understand nothing, I can do nothing. Without the Divine, nothing.” To be like this (same gesture, hands open). And then ... a Peace ... a luminous Peace ... and so powerful! And when I am quiet (I saw it again very interestingly, because before when I gave a meditation to X, there was still an effort, an effort to meditate, an effort to ...), while this time ... (Mother sharply lowers her hands), it was compelling. A compelling Presence – compelling. Extraordinary.... In fact I wondered what the meditation would be like, if it was going to be like before – not at all, it’s like this (Mother sharply lowers her hands).
So, it’s going well.
But first there must be an absolute sincerity, that is, a CONVICTION: I am nothing, nothing – I can do nothing, I know nothing, I have absolutely NOTHING ... (Mother raises an index finger) except the Divine. Then it’s all right.
As I told you, it’s so strong that at times I can’t even eat; whereas when it’s like this, when the consciousness becomes like this (gesture of surrender, hands open), I finish my dinner without even knowing I am eating.... It’s inexpressible. But wonderful.
Only, there is no place for fear – if you’re afraid, it becomes dreadful. Fortunately my body is not afraid.
It’s a bit difficult, yes, but ... (Mother takes Satprem’s hands).
The next time is the first.
Yes, Mother, Saturday the first – what luck!
(Mother smiles.) Yes, it will be all right.
Do you have this?
Oh, this is so very charming!
Mother means it will produce an effect anyway.
This particular problem will become very acute. One could hear – and would hear more and more often – down in the Ashram courtyard the voices of those who were telling her, “Eat, Mother, it’s good, it’s good for you,” the way you speak to a child or a senile patient. She was never allowed to go through with her experience.
Throughout the Agenda, words Mother originally spoke in English are italicized.
The long period of suffering.
In fact, Mother has spent a great part of her time in deep contemplation since the latest “accident.”
On the Way to Supermanhood.
An oculist’s chart with letters of various sizes. Mother does regular reading exercises.
Mother walked out on the balcony without help, after having practiced every day.
Let us recall the Tantrasara: “Although thou art the primordial cause of the worlds, yet thou art forever young.”
The Adventure of Consciousness.
Satprem is especially thinking of East Bengal (Bangladesh), which has just proclaimed independence amid massacres perpetrated by the troops of West Pakistan.
To recognize officially the “provisional government” of Bangladesh under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur. Only eight months later, on December 6, would India recognize Bangladesh.
t was more a matter of making sure America would not oppose the independence of Bangladesh!
President Nixon will send warships to threaten India in case she intervenes on the side of Bangladesh.
Alas. . . .
Satprem was thinking of the subconscious level.
See previous conversation. It is in reference to this man that Mother said, “You have to be very thick-skinned to lie to my face.”
This version will be adopted for the message of April 24.
On April 3, Mother sent a written message to Indira.
To coerce him publicly to abjure the independence of Bengal.
Satprem does not mean the physical liquidation of Pakistan, of course, but the disappearance of the artificial separation created by the British in order to “divide and rule.” It should be recalled that for centuries the Muslims lived in perfect harmony with the Hindus, until the day in 1947 when Downing Street decided otherwise, playing on the political ambitions of some Indians eager to have their share of power.
In 1965, with the infamous cease-fire and the Tashkent surrender.
The tape recorder failed right at this moment, while this was precisely the passage Satprem wanted most to record. So he hastily scribbled down Mother’s words as she spoke.
The Doctrine of Passive Resistance, I.122.
The Karmayogin, III.347.
The big book entrepreneur of the Ashram and brother of the would-be owner of Auroville.
The book cover took the forefront in the affair. What seems to have been conveniently forgotten is the sales methods of that Press: someone had dared to put his finger on the vast network of financial manipulations in foreign currencies. This is far from being the end of the story.
Pakistani troops launched a general attack on Bangladesh before the monsoon; they succeeded in sealing off almost entirely the border with India, cutting off all possibility of help from India. Meanwhile the Chinese have massed their troops near the northeastern borders.
“The end of a stage of evolution is usually marked by a powerful recrudescence of all that has to go out of the evolution.”
China announced that, if India interfered in the “internal affairs” of Pakistan, she would attack.
On the Way to Supermanhood.
To throw some light on the nature of the “schism,” we include at the end of this conversation the text of a letter written by Satprem to an enthusiastic and erroneous reader.
Satprem was even accused of having “betrayed Sri Aurobindo.” There was a little clique of “intellectuals” in the Ashram, who after Sri Aurobindo’s passing refused for a long time to give recognition to Mother (and even while Sri Aurobindo was there, how many letters did he have to write to defend Mother). So we suspect that this same little clique, very influential today, has never really recognized Mother, except by paying lip service, preferring to hide behind a “philosophical Sri Aurobindo,” while Mother was forcing them (or trying to force them) to do a more thorough yoga. This is the essence of the “schism.” This first reaction of the English translator thus prefigures what will break out after Mother’s passing. One by one all the little waves were beginning to pile up.
The first version, the one of the third, read: India must recognize Bangla-Desh. This is urgent.
In fact, again on the 18th, the day after this conversation, the president of India, V.V. Giri, in a press interview in which he was spiritedly asked why he still had not recognized Bangladesh, said, “The central government is studying the question whether recognition should be granted to Bangladesh.” Then he added, “Our sympathy is with the people of Bangladesh. It is up to the Prime Minister [Indira] and the central cabinet to decide the question.” (P.T.I)
One wonders what kind of news Mother was getting from her entourage.
Satprem’s letter was misunderstood and published abridged to suit the comprehension of the editors.
Here is Mother’s text:
“Consciousness develops best through work done as offering to the Divine. Indolence and inaction lead to tamas: That is a fall into unconsciousness, it is contrary to all progress and light.
To overcome one’s ego, to live only in the service of the Divine – that is the ideal and the shortest way towards acquiring the true consciousness.”
Nor do we know what kind of report Mother was getting from the trio of intriguers who were already quarreling over the direction and funds of Auroville. Certainly there was a lazy group in Auroville, but that group quickly disappeared on its own. Is it a “lack of authority” over the Aurovillians or over the trio, whose rivalries were beginning to arouse the mistrust of the Aurovillians?
From the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Satprem was thinking in particular of the students in Sri Lanka who had just been massacred while the whole world, including India, acquiesced in total silence.
The Sri Aurobindo School in Delhi, known as The Mother’s School, was closed by Mother following a strike by teachers protesting the dismissal of one of them.
The translation never went beyond the introduction.
Conversation of March 3, 1971.
A disciple who left for Delhi several days ago, on the 2nd.
Mother wrote only a note that was published in one of the Ashram periodicals: “The situation is serious. It is only a strong and enlightened action that can pull the country out of it.” (April 30, 1971)
Mother is probably alluding to the Naxalites of Calcutta.
In fact, it is still “under study”; America has received the economic envoys of Yahya Khan.
In September 1965.
Satprem had even wondered how to save Mother’s papers. During the years 1960 and 1961, when Mother was still seeing him downstairs, he used to have a recurring dream: some “enemies” were after him, and he had to hide Mother’s papers (the Agenda) at any cost. But these “enemies” were not particularly Chinese. Quite possibly that situation of being pursued was not from this life alone – whence the imprint – and must have characterized other past meetings with Mother.
“The affair of Korea ... is the first move in the Communist plan of campaign to dominate and take possession first of these northern parts and then of South East Asia as a preliminary to their maneuvers with regard to the rest of the continent – in passing, Tibet as a gate opening to India. If they succeed, there is no reason why domination of the whole world should not follow by steps until they are ready to deal with America.... One thing is certain that if there is too much shilly-shallying and if America gives up now her defence of Korea, she may be driven to yield position after position until it is too late: at one point or another she will have to stand and face the necessity of drastic action even if it leads to war.” – Sri Aurobindo, January 28, 1950.
The article appears at the end of this conversation
A minister in the Indian government and, at the time, a friend of Indira’s.
This is the beginning of the break between N.S. and Indira. These assertions are hence highly unreliable. Let us note that Mother’s own emissaries N. and U. will take N.S.’s side against Indira. So we are not sure what to make out of the words reported to Mother by those scheming emissaries. Mother was betrayed on every side.
Two months before the massacre in Bangladesh, an Indian plane hijacked by some Pakistanis enabled India to close her airspace to Pakistani planes, thus forcing Pakistan to go around Ceylon to carry her troops to Bengal, which once more underscores the geographical absurdity of these two parts of a single country separated by fifteen hundred miles of Indian territory.
These past few days, Sujata had seen two eyes appear on Mother’s forehead (a very high forehead), rather far above her physical eyes. She could clearly distinguish the eyelids and the half-closed eyes as if they were about to open.
The translation of Satprem’s article appearing in this book under the date May 15, 1971 has been done specially for the Agenda.
Satprem had informed Mother that he felt he was in the blackest hole of his life and that everything was as it used to be before, as if the seventeen years in the Ashram had never existed.
What made Satprem put this laconic note in his notebook, what was the occasion, the reason? It is like a forewarning, which we shall leave as it is. Pranab is the name of Mother’s “guard.” Desh = territory or country.
Satprem had read other letters of Sri Aurobindo about the Ashram, Mother had selected the last one, just quoted.
Ten or twenty thousand (?) copies had been printed; the article was translated into all the Indian languages and sent in particular to all the members of the Indian Parliament.
Swaran Singh, minister of foreign affairs, who has just visited Washington, London, Moscow, Paris, etc.
India will go into action only in December.
Some eight million by now, from Bangladesh.
“The Sannyasin” was submitted to five publishers. It had not yet found Robert Laffont.
America as a matter of course refused – and sent three or four more shiploads of arms a few days later.
The invasion of refugees from Bangladesh, with an epidemic of cholera.
And what exactly did Mother’s “emissaries” report to one and to the other?
Let us point out that on this day Mother had an indirect contact (through the family) with a disciple stricken with cancer.
These letters are included at the end of this conversation.
A disciple who went to Europe with her children, then came back.
See conversation of April 7.
The Indo-Russian pact which has just been signed in Delhi by Gromyko and Swaran Singh. This is also the time of Mujibur’s trial in Pakistan.
Perhaps coincidentally, two days later, on August 16, the dollar was “devalued” and the Bretton-Woods accords were broken.
Mother means that while Sri Aurobindo was alive, it was not necessary for him to be concerned with money because Mother was there.
Satprem means not permanently in contact with the inner.
Mother means that there is no difference between the “living” and the “dead.”
Purani died in December 1965; M. and D. are “living.”
But for someone on the other side, how would a man turning on a faucet and brushing his teeth look?
Approximately at that time, a former disciple, Rani Maitra, wife of the former chancellor of Benares University, was dying without Mother’s knowing anything about it in her outer consciousness.
Actually, Satprem well remembered that encounter, but he wanted to spare Mother the account of his own state of mind that day, for he was angry with Mother (!) because she was paying a visit to the man who had schemed to take Governor Baron’s place. Thus the great story and the small one go hand in hand.
Quite a number of the tapes used to record these conversations were procured thanks to this very nice German man. We would also like to mention an American couple, M.R., who gave the majority of the tapes, and a few others, with gratitude.
This is what Mother wrote to Sujata’s father, Prithwi Singh, in 1953 about the passing away of Sri Aurobindo: “At 1:26 in the morning, when I was in his room, he was steadily coming out of his body into mine; it was so much that I felt a physical friction in the cells of my body; with it a great power entered into me and I felt capable of resuscitating him. But when I told him, he said, ‘No, it is purposely that I have left my body, I will not come back into it, I will return in a new body, the first body built in the supramental way.’ But,” Mother added, “he did not tell me the time when he would return.”
Mother had at first said, “Then it would be finished,” then she changed it to “It would be the real beginning” when Satprem published this portion in Notes on the Way.
Portulaca, tuberose, and basil.
Satprem’s brother will commit suicide two years later, shortly after Mother’s passing.
Once, several years ago, Mother had received both Satprem and his brother together, and they had sat at her feet, side by side. Then, after the interview, Mother told Satprem: “It’s strange, he seems to be like an emanation of you.”
Alas, Satprem’s next book will be the trilogy on Mother, in 1975.
“Coincidentally,” that day Mother was wearing a white silk dress with peacock feathers painted on it.
It was very striking: the clothes were supremely important. Literary clothing, probably.
Indian Cork Tree.
Called Toro. Although it orbits the sun in an 8-year cycle, it approaches to within some 12 million miles of the earth. Its next approach to the earth is due in August 1972.
These last words were said in such a moving tone, as if they were at once invocation, pain, prayer....
Mr. Benharoche-Baralia, who didn’t really “work” with Théon, but later became a member of the “cosmic groups.”
C.R. Das, Sri Aurobindo’s lawyer in the Alipore bomb case. There are three letters; one dated November 18, 1922, to C.R. Das, and the two others to Barin, Sri Aurobindo’s younger brother, dated November 18, 1922 and December 1, 1922. The letters are included at the end of this conversation.
Even in 1928, when Tagore came to Pondicherry to visit Sri Aurobindo, he repeated his intention to go out of Pondicherry and launch an external action. But probably on the way, Sri Aurobindo realized ... just what Mother was discovering.