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The Mother


Volume 1

October 19, 1960

(The day before “Kali Puja,” the ritual festival devoted each year in India to the goddess Kali, the warrior aspect of the universal Mother)

She has already been here for two days and... Oh, yesterday especially, she was so... in such a mood! – like a warrior. I said to her, “But why not change them through... through an excess of love?”

So then she answered (I remember how she put it), “First a good punch in the chest (she didn't say ‘in the nose’!), a good punch in the chest, and then when they're down, gasping for air, they're ready.”

That's one opinion!

*   *

(Concerning a tantric)

Those people deny the reality of all physical needs.

It's quite all right when you've come TO THE END, when you have totally mastered the body by means of the spiritual consciousness. But until then, I don't agree – I do not at all agree.

It's the same as when X tells people, “I am feeding you, so eat!” And he serves you ten times more than you can put in. If you tell him, “My stomach can't digest it,” he answers that this is nonsense: “Eat, and you will see!” And in fact, up above – that is, once you've mastered it – it's perfectly true. But we aren't there yet, far from it! He himself is sick all the time.

Then he would answer, “Everyone is sick.” – But that's no reason.

It's very well to say, “If you live in the Spirit, it's not the same.” That's quite true, but... MUCH later. For the last two years, I myself have been learning this, and I see how difficult it is – one mustn't boast. And to say, “Oh, it's all the same to me,” is a way of boasting. It SHOULD NOT be all the same to you. This body is not meant for us – it wasn't for us that it was given, it's for the Work, so consequently it must be in working order.

That's what annoys me sometimes. Why not have this mastery? We SHOULD be masters of it. With consciousness, we should be able to be the masters of our bodies.

Yes, this was precisely the extraordinary thing Sri Aurobindo had. He made no effort... But then he didn't use it on himself!

But for humans, this is something UNTHINKABLE.

He wanted to go.

You see, he had decided to go. But he didn't want me to know that he was doing it deliberately; he knew that if for a single moment I knew he was doing it deliberately, I would have reacted with such a violence that he would not have been able to leave!

And he did this... he bore it all as if it were some unconsciousness, an ordinary illness, simply to keep me from knowing – and he left at the very moment he had to leave. But...

And I couldn't even imagine he was gone once he had gone, just there, in front of me – it seemed so far away... And then afterwards, when he came out of his body and entered into mine, I understood it all... It's fantastic.


It's... it's absolutely superhuman. There's not one human being capable of doing such a thing. And what... what a mastery of his body – absolute, absolute!

And when it came to others... he could remove an illness like that (gesture, as if Mother were calmly extracting an illness from the body with her fingertips). That happened to you once, didn't it? You said that I had done this for you – but it wasn't me; he was the one who did it... He could give you peace in the mind in the same way (Mother brushes her hand across her forehead). You see, his actions were absolutely... On others, it had all the characteristics of a total mastery... Absolutely superhuman.

One day, he'll tell you all this himself.1

Now I understand it.

It's tre-men-dous.

I would like very much to ask you something... Why did he have to go?

Ah! That can't be told.

(long silence)

I can tell you why, but in a purely superficial way... Because for him to do IMMEDIATELY – without leaving his body, that is – what he had to do, well...


We can put it this way: the world was not ready. But to tell you the truth, it was the totality of things around him that was not ready. So when he SAW this (I only understood this afterwards), he saw that it would go much faster if he were not there.

And he was ABSOLUTELY right, it was true.

Once I saw that, I accepted. When I saw it, when he made me understand, I accepted; otherwise...

There was a difficult period.


It wasn't long, but it was difficult.

When he left, I said twelve days, twelve days.2 And truly, I gave it twelve days, twelve days to see if the entire Work... Outwardly, I said, “After twelve days I will tell you if the Ashram (the Ashram was nothing but a symbol, of course), if the Ashram will continue or if it is finished.”

And later (I don't know – it didn't take twelve days; I said that on December 9, and on the 12th it was all decided – seen, clear and understood), on the 12th, I saw people, I saw a few people. However, we began all the activities again only after 12 days from December 5. But it was decided on the 12th.

Everything was left hanging until the moment he made me understand the COMPLETE thing, in its entirety... But that's for later on.

He himself will tell you, it's true – later on.


1 He came to tell us this fifteen years later, as a matter of fact, while we were writing The Divine Materialism.

2 Mother stopped all her activities for twelve days from December 5, 1950, the day Sri Aurobindo departed.








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