August 25, 19541
(Mother reads to the disciples an excerpt from Sri Aurobindo's THE MOTHER, in which he describes the different aspects of the Creative Power – what in India is called the “Shakti,” or the “Mother” – which have presided over universal evolution.)
“...There are other great Personalities of the Divine Mother, but they were more difficult to bring down and have not stood out in front with so much prominence in the evolution of the earth-spirit. There are among them Presences indispensable for the supramental realization, – most of all one who is her Personality of that mysterious and powerful ecstasy and Ananda2 which flows from a supreme divine Love, the Ananda that alone can heal the gulf between the highest heights of the supramental spirit and the lowest abysses of Matter, the Ananda that holds the key of a wonderful divinest Life and even now supports from its secrecies the work of all the other Powers of the universe.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Mother
(A disciple:) Sweet Mother, what is this Personality and when will It manifest?
My answer is ready.
I knew you would ask me this question because it is indeed the most interesting thing in the whole passage – so my answer is ready, along with my answer to another question. But first let me read you this one.
You asked, “What is this Personality and when will She come?”
Here is my answer (Mother reads):
“She has come, bringing with Her a splendor of power and love, an intensity of divine joy heretofore unknown to the Earth. The physical atmosphere has been completely changed by her descent, permeated with new and marvelous possibilities.
But if She is ever to reside and act here, She has to find at least a minimal receptivity, at least one human being with the required vital and physical qualities, a kind of super-Parsifal gifted with an innate and integral purity, yet possessing at the same time a body strong enough and poised enough to bear unwaveringly the intensity of the Ananda She brings.
Thus far, She has not found what is needed. Men remain obstinately men and do not want to or are unable to become supermen. All they can receive and express is a love at their own dimension: a human love – whereas the supreme bliss of divine Ananda eludes their perception.
At times, finding the world unready to receive Her, She contemplates withdrawing. But how cruel a loss this would be!
It is true that at present, her presence is more rhetorical than factual, since so far She has had no chance to manifest. Yet even so, She is a powerful instrument in the Work, for of all the Mother's aspects, She holds the greatest power to transform the body. Indeed, those cells which can vibrate at the touch of the divine Joy, receive it and bear it, are cells reborn, on their way to becoming immortal.
But the vibrations of divine Bliss and those of pleasure cannot cohabit in the same vital and physical house. We must therefore TOTALLY renounce all feelings of pleasure to be ready to receive the divine Ananda. But rare are those who can renounce pleasure without thereby renouncing all active participation in life or sinking into a stern ascetism. And among those who realize that the transformation is to be wrought in active life, some pretend that pleasure is a form of Ananda gone more or less astray and legitimize their search for self-satisfaction, thereby creating a virtually insuperable obstacle to their own transformation.”
Now, if there is anything else you wish to ask me... Anyone may ask, anyone – anyone who has something to say – not just the students.
Mother, even if we have not previously succeeded, can't we still try?
What? (the disciple repeats his question) Oh! You can always try!
The world is recreated from minute to minute. If you knew how – I mean if you could change your nature – you could recreate a new world this very minute!
I didn't say She HAD gone. I said She was CONTEMPLATING it... at times, now and then.
But Mother, if She came down, She must have seen a possibility!
She came down because there WAS a possibility – because things had reached such a stage that it was her hour to come down. But in truth, She came down because... because I thought it was possible for her to succeed.
Possibilities are still there – only they have to materialize.
This is borne out by the fact that her descent took place at a given moment and for two or three weeks the atmosphere – not only of the Ashram but of the Earth – was so highly charged with such a power of such an intense divine Bliss creating so marvelous a force that things difficult to do before could be done almost instantly.
There were repercussions the world over. But I don't believe that a single one of you noticed it... you cannot even tell me when it happened, can you?
When did it happen?
I don't know dates. I don't know, I never remember dates. I can only tell you this... that it happened before Sri Aurobindo left his body, that he was told about it beforehand and that he... well, he acknowledged the fact.
But there was a formidable battle with the Inconscient, for when I saw that the level of receptivity was not what it should have been, I blamed the Inconscient... and tried to wage the battle there.
I don't say it was ineffectual, but between the result obtained and the result hoped for, there was a considerable difference. But as I said, you who are all so near, so steeped in this atmosphere... who among you noticed anything? – You simply went on with your little lives as usual.
I think it was in 1946, Mother, because you told us so many things at that time.
(A child:) Sweet Mother, now that She has come, what should we do?
You don't know?
Try to change your consciousness.
Now you may ask me the questions you wanted to ask... That's all?
Mother, there is not even one single man?
I don't know.
Mother, you are wasting your time with all these Ashram people.
Oh!... But you see, from an occult standpoint, it is a selection. From an external standpoint you could say that there are people in the world who are far superior to you (and I would not disagree!), but from an occult standpoint, it is a selection. There are... It can be said that without a doubt the majority of young people here have come because it was promised them that they would be present at the Hour of Realization – but they just don't remember it! (Mother laughs) I have already said several times that when you come down on earth, you fall on your head, which leaves you a little dazed! (laughter) It's a pity, but after all, you don't have to remain dazed all your lives, do you? You should go deep within yourselves and there find the immortal consciousness – then you can see very well, you can very clearly remember the circumstances in which you... you aspired to be here for the Hour of the Work's realization.
But actually, to tell you the truth, I think your lives are so easy that you don't exert yourselves very much! How many among you have truly an INTENSE need to find their psychic beings? To find out truly who they are? To find out what their roles are, why they are here?... You just let yourselves drift. You even complain when things aren't easy enough! You just take things as they come. And sometimes, should an aspiration arise in you and you encounter some difficulty in yourself, you say, “Oh, Mother is there! She'll take care of it for me!” And you think about something else.
Mother, previously things were very strict in the Ashram, but not now. Why?
Yes, I have always said that it changed when we had to take the very little children. How can you envision an ascetic life with little sprouts no bigger than that? It's impossible! But that's the little surprise package the war left on our doorstep. When it was found that Pondicherry was the safest place on earth, naturally people came wheeling in here with all their baby carriages filled and asked us if we could shelter them, so we couldn't very well turn them away, could we?! That's how it happened, and in no other way... But, in the beginning, the first condition for coming here was that you would have nothing more to do with your family! If a man was married, then he had to completely overlook the fact that he had a wife and children – completely sever all ties, have nothing further to do with them. And if ever a wife asked to come just because her husband happened to be here, we told her, “You have no business coming here!”
In the beginning, it was very, very strict – for a long time.
The first condition was: “Nothing more to do with your family...” Well, we are a long way from that! But I repeat that it only happened because of the war and not because we stopped seeing the need to cut all family ties; on the contrary, this is an indispensable condition because as long as you hang on to all these cords which bind you to ordinary life, which make you a slave to the ordinary life, how can you possibly belong to the Divine alone? What childishness! It is simply not possible. If you have ever taken the trouble to read over the early ashram rules, you would find that even friendships were considered dangerous and undesirable... We made every effort to create an atmosphere in which only ONE thing counted: the Life Divine.
But as I said, bit by bit... things changed. However, this had one advantage: we were too much outside of life. So there were a number of problems which had never arisen but which would have suddenly surged up the moment we wanted a complete manifestation. We took on all these problems a little prematurely, but it gave us the opportunity to solve them. In this way we learned many things and surmounted many difficulties, only it complicated things considerably. And in the present situation, given such a large number of elements who haven't even the slightest idea why they're here (!)... well, it demands a far greater effort on the disciples' part than before.
Before, when there were... we started with 35 or 36 people – but even when it got up to 150, even with 150 – it was as if... they were all nestled in a cocoon in my consciousness: they were so near to me that I could constantly guide ALL their inner or outer movements. Day and night, at each moment, everything was totally under my control. And naturally, I think they made a great deal of progress at that time: it is a fact that I was CONSTANTLY doing the sadhana3 for them. But then, with this baby boom... The sadhana can't be done for little sprouts who are 3 or 4 or 5 years old! It's out of the question. The only thing I can do is wrap them in the Consciousness and try to see that they grow up in the best of all possible conditions. However, the one advantage to all this is that instead of there being such a COMPLETE and PASSIVE dependence on the disciples' part, each one has to make his own little effort. Truly, that's excellent.
I don't know to whom I was mentioning this today (I think it was for a Birthday4)... No, I don't know now. It was to someone who told me he was 18 years old. I said that between the ages of 18 and 20, I had attained a constant and conscious union with the Divine Presence and that I had done this ALL ALONE, without ANYONE'S help, not even books. When a little later I chanced upon Vivekananda's Raja Yoga, it really seemed so wonderful to me that someone could explain something to me! And it helped me realize in only a few months what would have otherwise taken years.
I met a man (I was perhaps 20 or 21 at the time), an Indian who had come to Europe and who told me of the Gita. There was a French translation of it (a rather poor one, I must say) which he advised me to read, and then he gave me the key (HIS key, it was his key). He said, “Read the Gita...” (this translation of the Gita which really wasn't worth much but it was the only one available at the time – in those days I wouldn't have understood anything in other languages; and besides, the English translations were just as bad and... well, Sri Aurobindo hadn't done his yet!). He said, “Read the Gita knowing that Krishna is the symbol of the immanent God, the God within.” That was all. “Read it with THAT knowledge – with the knowledge that Krishna represents the immanent God, the God within you.” Well, within a month, the whole thing was done!
So some of you people have been here since the time you were toddlers – everything has been explained to you, the whole thing has been served to you on a silver platter (not only with words, but through psychic aid and in every possible way), you have been put on the path of this inner discovery... and then you just go on drifting along: “When it comes, it will come.” – If you even spare it that much thought!
So that's how it is.
But I'm not at all discouraged, I just find it rather laughable. Only there are other far more serious things; for example, when you try to deceive yourselves – that is not so pretty. One should not mix up cats and kings. You should call a cat a cat and a king a king – and human instinct, human instinct – and not speak about things divine when they are utterly human, nor pretend to have supramental experiences when you are living in a blatantly ordinary consciousness.
If you look at yourselves straight in the face and you see what you are, then if by chance you should resolve to... But what really astounds me is that you don't even seem to feel an intense NEED to do this! “But how can we know?” Because you DO know, you have been told over and over again, it has been drummed into your heads. You KNOW that you have a divine consciousness within you. And yet you can go on sleeping night after night, playing day after day, doing your lessons ad infinitum and still not be... not have a BURNING desire and will to come into contact with yourselves! – With yourselves, yes, the you just there, inside (motion towards the center of the chest)... Really, it's beyond me!
As soon as I found out – and no one told me, I found out through an experience – as soon as I found out that there was a discovery to be made within myself, well, it became THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in the world. It took precedence over everything else!
And when, as I told you, I chanced upon a book or an individual that could give me just a little clue and tell me, “Here. If you do such and such, you will find your path” – well I charged into it like a cyclone... and nothing could have stopped me.
And how many years have you all been here, half-asleep? Naturally, you're happy to think about it now and then – especially when I speak to you about it or sometimes when you read. But THAT – that fire, that will which plows through all barriers, that concentration which can triumph over EVERYTHING...
Now who was it that asked me what you should do?
(The child:) Me!
Well, that's what you have to do, my child. I have just told you.
Mother, what was the other thing you wrote?
I thought someone might ask me, “Why doesn't She5 stay for your sake? Since She came here because you called Her, then why doesn't She stay for your sake?”
But no one asked me that.
Tell us, Mother – we really want to know, Sweet Mother!
For Her, this body is but one instrument among so many others in an eternity of ages to come, and for Her its only importance is that attributed to it by the Earth and mankind – the extent to which it can be used as a channel to further Her manifestation. If I find myself surrounded by people who are incapable of receiving Her, then for Her, I am quite useless.
It is very clear. So it is not I who can make Her stay. And I certainly cannot ask Her to stay for egotistical reasons. Moreover, all these Aspects, all these Personalities manifest constantly – but they never manifest for personal reason. Not one of them has ever thought of helping my body – besides, I don't ask them to because that is not their purpose. But it is more than obvious that if the people around me were receptive, She could permanently manifest since they could receive Her – and this would help my body enormously because all these vibrations would run through it. But She never gets even a chance to manifest – not a single one. She only meets people... who don't even feel Her when She's there! They don't even notice Her, they're not even aware of her presence. So how can She manifest in these conditions? I'm not going to ask Her, “Please come and change my body.” We don't have that kind of relationship! Furthermore, the body itself wouldn't agree. It never thinks of itself, it never pays attention to itself, and besides, it is only through the work that it can be transformed.
Yes, certainly... had there been any receptivity when She came down and had She been able to manifest with the power with which She came... But I can tell you one thing: even before Her coming, when, with Sri Aurobindo, I had begun going down (for the Yoga) from the mental plane to the vital plane, when we brought our yoga down from the mental plane into the vital plane, in less than a month (I was forty years old at the time – I didn't seem very old, I looked less than forty, but I was forty anyway), after no more than a month of this yoga, I looked exactly like an 18 year old! And someone who knew me and had stayed with me in Japan6 came here, and when he saw me, he could scarcely believe his eyes! He said, “But my god, is it you?” I said, “Of course!”
Only when we went down from the vital plane into the physical plane, all this went away – because on the physical plane, the work is much harder and we had so much to do, so many things to change.
But if a force like Hers could manifest and be received here, it would have INESTIMABLE results!...
Well, I am only telling you all this because I thought someone might ask me about it, but otherwise... I don't have that kind of relationship with Her. You see, if you consider this body, this poor body, it is very innocent: it in no way tries to draw attention to itself nor to attract forces nor to do anything at all except its work – as best it can. And that's how it stands: its importance is proportionate to its usefulness... and to the significance the world attributes to it – since its action is for the world.
But in and of itself, it is only one body among countless others. That's all.
(To the disciple handling the microphone:) It's over now.
(Mother gets up to go, but while leaving, She says to the children around her:) If you had made just one little decision to try to feel your psychic being, my time would not have been wasted.
1 The following text is an extract from a “Wednesday Class”, when every Wednesday Mother would answer questions raised by the disciples and children at the Ashram Playground.
2 Ananda: Divine Joy.
3 Sadhana: yogic discipline or effort.
4 Mother received each disciple individually on his birthday.
5 The Mother of Ananda, or the Creative Power's aspect of Joy.
6 W.W. Pearson, a friend of Rabindranath Tagore, who had come from Tagore's Ashram in 1923; Mother had met him with Tagore in 1916 in Japan.