March 7, 1958
(Letter to Mother from Satprem)
Kataragama, March 7, 1958
Since my departure, I have been feeling your Force continually, almost constantly. And I feel an infinite gratitude that you are there, and that this thread from you to me keeps me anchored to something in this world. Simply knowing that you exist, that you are there, that I have a goal, a center – fills me with infinite gratitude. On a street in Madras, the day after I left, I suddenly had a poignant experience: I felt that if “that” were not in me, I would fall to pieces on the sidewalk, I would crumble, nothing would be left, nothing. And this experience remains. Like a litany, something keeps repeating almost incessantly, “I need you, need you, I have only you, you alone in the world. You are all my present, all my future, I have only you...” Mother, I am living in a state of need, like hunger.
On the way, I stopped at J and E's place. They are living like native fishermen, in loincloths, in a coconut grove by the sea. The place is exceedingly beautiful, and the sea full of rainbow-hued coral. And suddenly, within twenty-four hours, I realized an old dream – or rather, I “purged” myself of an old and tenacious dream: that of living on a Pacific island as a simple fisherman. And all at once, I saw, in a flash, that this kind of life totally lacks a center. You “float” in a nowhere. It plunges you into some kind of higher inertia, an illumined inertia, and you lose all true substance.
As for me, I am totally out of my element in this new life, as though I were uprooted from myself. I am living in the temple, in the midst of pujas,1 with white ashes on my forehead, barefoot, dressed like a Hindu, sleeping on cement at night, eating impossible curries, with some good sunburns to complete the cooking. And there I am, clinging to you, for if you were not there I would collapse, so absurd would it all be. You are the only reality – how many times have I repeated this to myself, like a litany! Apart from this, I am holding up quite well physically. But inside and outside, nothing is left but you. I need you, that's all. Mother, this world is so horrifyingly empty. I really feel that I would evaporate if you weren't there. Well, no doubt I had to go through this experience... Perhaps I will be able to extract some book from it that will be of use to you. We are like children who need a lot of pictures in order to understand, and a few good kicks to realize our complete stupidity.
Swami must soon take to the road again, through Ceylon, towards March 20 or 25. So I shall go wandering with him until May; towards the beginning of May, he will return to India. I hope to have learned my lesson by then, and to have learned it well. Inwardly, I have understood that there is only you – but it's these problem children on the surface who must be made to toe the line once and for all.
Sweet Mother, I am in a hurry to work for you. Will you still want me? Mother, I need you, I need you. I would like to ask you an absurd question: Do you think of me? I have only you, you alone in the world.
March 11, 58
My dear child,
It is good, very good – in truth, everything is taking place as expected, as the best expected. And I am so happy for this.
To your question, I reply: I do not think of you, I feel you; you are with me, I am with you, in the light...
Your place has remained vacant here; you alone can fill it, and it awaits your return, when the moment comes.
As soon as the “problem children” on the surface will also have learned their lesson, you have only to let me know of the date of your return and you will be welcome.
With you always and everywhere.
1 Puja: Hindu temple ceremony.