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The Mother


Volume 1

August 20, 1960

(While filing various old papers, notes, etc., Mother happens upon the plan for a film studio at the lake1)

It's at the lake. The property belonged to the mission and at that time its manager was a very good friend of ours, even though he was a missionary. He said that he would arrange for us to have it. Everything was arranged, and I was to receive the money to buy it (they asked for more than fifty or sixty thousand rupees2). But then the money didn't come and our missionary friend left. He's no longer there; he's been replaced by someone else.

(Mother looks at a piece of paper) “Calling Antonin Raymond3.” The architect for the construction.

Then there was also “making ready temporary quarters for Z4.” But then Z left; he died.

That's what happens – things change. It's not that the project stops, but it's forced to take other paths.

But this film project has been completely abandoned now, hasn't it?

No, no. You see, it wasn't a studio – it was a school, a school of photography, television and film. It's not at all buried.

But L has enlarged the program. (Mother indicates the plan) This is only a small part of his extensive total program. He is planning to have a school of agriculture, a modern dairy with grazing land – there's a lot of agriculture, really a lot – fruit orchards, large rice fields, many things. And then a ceramics factory. My ceramics factory will be at the far end of the lake, so as to utilize the clay – the government has agreed; as they have to dig out the lake one day, we shall use the top soil for the fields. First we'll remove all the pebbles (you know, there are hills over there), which can be used for construction – it's a mine of pebbles. After removing the pebbles, there will be holes which then we'll fill with earth from the lake. And below this earth is a thick and compact layer of clay which is so hard it can't be used for farming – it's impossible – but it's wonderful for making ceramics. So right at the very end, in Indian territory,5 we'll have a large ceramics industry. On the other side, we'll have a little factory for firing clay.

All this is huge. A tremendous program.6

We can file it with the other things.

(Mother pauses at a note from February 10, 19567)

It was in the beginning of February 56 – it was formidable. It was really formidable. All the asuric forces of destruction descended upon me... They tried their best.

And naturally, they make use of all those around me! – It's the only way of getting at my body.

I'm used to it.

*   *

(Mother looks at another note)

I no longer remember when this happened. Someone had put his hands on my shoulders – I was a bit surprised. This person imagined that I would feel extraordinary things. I must have made a face (I wasn't expecting it, after all). Then afterwards, someone asked me, “What was your experience (!), what did you feel?” I didn't answer. Once I was alone, this is what I wrote:

Something like what
Christ must have experienced
when on his shoulders
he felt the weight
of the cross.

To this day I remember the experience. Truly, that's what I felt – I did not intellectualize it. Exactly the impression of what Christ must have experienced when he felt the weight of the cross. It was the weight of a whole world of darkness, unconsciousness, universal bad will, total incomprehension, something... And it really felt like that... as if I were carrying a frightful weight – which was frightful because of its darkness, not because of its weight. So I thought, “Well, well. This must be how Christ felt when they laid the cross on him.”

There are plenty of them! (Mother indicates a pile of various papers) In another pile there must be as many again! It is a mania for collecting papers.

Oh no, sweet Mother! Fortunately they have been kept.

Oh! I have plenty of them, plenty. There must be many more boxes full.

*   *

(Soon afterwards, in regard to the filing of these notes)

With a lot of patience and time, it could all be organized, but I'd have to be convinced that it's worth the trouble. All these old papers are like dead leaves. We should make a bonfire.8

Oh, no!

YOU people may have this opinion, but it's not mine. I'll tell you exactly the effect it has on me: whenever someone has wanted to arrange things, I've always thought, “Yes, it will be quite useful to arrange these things... after my death!”

But then I'd rather not die... if possible. And if I don't die, it will be perfectly useless, because that would then be the obvious proof of an uninterrupted ascent; consequently, what there will be at the very end will be much more interesting.

You alone have convinced me that the “history” of the way might be of some interest, so I'm letting you do it... I've taken a very, very handsome file upstairs with all your notes in it.9 It's filling up; it's going to be formidable! (Mother laughs)... a frightful documentation.

Not at all!

Anyway... I am doing it very conscientiously. I'm gathering everything and putting it all together.

You know, someone who appreciates this work tremendously is Nolini. Once he timidly asked me, “Could I have a copy10?” “Fine,” I said. Oh, he really appreciates it. And when I have something amusing like these most recent notes, I give him a copy. With that, he's happy. So he blesses you! (Mother laughs) Oh! Without you, this would never have been done – you can be quite sure. Never.

*   *

(Getting up to leave, Mother holds in her hands the first copy of L'Orpailleur which the disciple has just received from France and offered to Her)

Shall I take your book or...? Don't you want it?

I don't need it.

Don't you want it? I like it very much, very much. It's a very good friend (Mother holds the book against her heart).

Oh, I must write a few letters here and there, to France [to announce the publication of the book]. I already wrote to A, but I must write him again. Though I suppose he knows that it has come out – he should know. I told him to follow it with...

I don't know if the book has come out yet. I believe it's to appear in early September.

Oh, so this was only the harbinger.

I think so. That was their plan, in any case.11

Did you tell them that you've received it?

Yes, I sent them a note.

Did you tell them you were happy?

Yes, yes.

(Mischievously) Did you tell them Mother was happy? – They couldn't care less! (Mother laughs)

(Unruffled) They don't exactly know who “Mother” is.

No, fortunately not! Fortunately, my child! Fortunately.

(Just at the doorstep, as She is leaving, Mother tells the disciple that She had seen three books, a trilogy, and the third one would be about Her. And She adds:)

Sri Aurobindo came during my japa to tell me, “I will help him all through.”


1 Some five miles from Pondicherry.

2 About $7,000.

3 The architect who had already built “Golconde”, the Ashram guest house.

4 An American filmmaker.

5 Pondicherry was a French enclave, under French administration. The neighboring territory was the Indian state of Madras, or Tamil Nadu.

6 Perhaps it was the beginning of Auroville.

7 This note has disappeared.

8 Original English.

9 The future Agenda.

10 Of these conversations that make up the Agenda.

11 The French publishers, Éditions du Seuil.








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