June 25, 1959
(Letter to Mother from Satprem)
Rameswaram, June 25, 1959
X told me to tell you what he has seen of my previous lives (but my impression is that he did not tell me everything and that there are elements about which he wants to speak to you personally).
To begin with, I must tell you a dream that I had here in Rameswaram a few days after my arrival. I was being pursued and I fled like an assassin – it is a dream I have had hundreds of times for years, but in this dream, there was a new element: while being pursued, I climbed a kind of stairway to try to escape when suddenly, in a flash, I saw a feminine form hurtling into a void. I saw only the lower half of her body (with a kind of mauve-colored saree), because she was already falling. And I had the horrible sensation of having pushed this woman into the void, and I fled. I climbed, I climbed these stairs with my pursuers close at my heels, and the image of this falling woman gave me a horrible feeling. When I reached the top of the “stairs,” I tried to close a door behind me to stop my pursuers, but there they were, it was too late... and I woke up.
The last time I was in Rameswaram, I had two other very poignant dreams, but I could not make out what they meant. In one dream I was strangling someone with my bare hands; it was an abominable feeling. And in the other, I saw, in a kind of nocturnal setting, a hanged man being taken down, with all kinds of people bustling about the corpse with lamps, and suddenly I knew that this hanged man... was me.
I had said nothing to X about these various dreams before he told me the story of my last three existences: three times I committed suicide – the first by fire, the second by hanging, and the third by throwing myself into the void. During the first of these last three existences, I was married to a “very good” woman, but for some reason I abandoned my wife “and I was wandering here and there in search of something.” Then I met a sannyasi who wanted to make me his disciple, but I could not make up my mind, I was “neither this side nor that side,” whereupon my wife came to me and pleaded with me to take her back. Apparently I rejected her – so she threw herself into the fire. Horror-stricken, I followed her, throwing myself into the fire in turn. That was when I created “a connection” with certain beings [of the other worlds] and I fell under their power. For two other lives, under the influence of these beings, the same drama was repeated with a few variations.
During the second of these last three existences, I was married to the same woman whom I again abandoned under the influence of the same monk, and I again remained between two worlds wandering here and there. Again my wife came to plead with me and again I pushed her away. She hung herself, and I hung myself in turn.
During my last existence, the monk succeeded in making me a sannyasi, and when my wife came to plead with me, I told her, “Too late, now I am a sannyasi.” So she threw herself into the void, and horror-stricken by the sudden revelation of all these dramas and of my wife's goodness (for it seems she was a great soul), I threw myself in turn into the void.
As for this last existence, you already know.
X told me, “Now it is your last birth. I have received ORDER to deliver you.” So be it. “I shall give you a white cloth,” he added, “with my own hand.”
X gave me a new mantra. My body is exhausted from too much nervous tension. I am living in a kind of cellar with four inches of filth on the floor and walls, and two openings, one onto the street of the bazaar, the other onto a dilapidated courtyard with a well. On my right lives a madwoman who screams half the day. There is only my mantra which burns almost constantly in my heart, and who knows what hope that some day the future will be happy and reconciled. There is also Sujata and you.